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Ann Surg. 2005 Apr;241(4):666-70.

The severity of injury in children resulting from acts against civilian populations.

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Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Unit of Emergency Medicine, Kaplan 14, Petach Tikva, Israel 49202.



To characterize the injuries to children by acts against civilian populations (AACP).


Only 2 articles have focused on the spectrum and severity of injuries to children by AACP.


A retrospective case study of children 0 to 18 years old who were entered into the Israel National Trauma Registry as a result of AACP between September 29, 2000, and June 30, 2002.


A total of 158 children were hospitalized for injuries caused by AACP, accounting for 1.4% of all hospitalized injured children but for 10.9% of all in-hospital deaths for trauma. Explosions injured 114 (72.2%); shootings, 34 (21.5%); and other mechanisms such as stoning or stabbing, 10 (6.3%). Older children were injured by explosions more frequently than younger children (86.1% of 15- to 18-year-olds, 73.7% of 10- to 14-year-olds, 63.2% of 0- to 9-year-olds, P = 0.02). A higher percentage of children injured by explosions rather than by shootings were severely or critically injured (33.9% versus 18.8%, P = 0.10). The most frequently injured body regions were extremities (62.8%), head/face (47.3%), chest and abdomen (37.2%), and brain (18.2%). More than 1 body region was injured in 63.0%. Children injured by explosions as compared with shootings had a lower incidence of abdominal trauma (14.9% versus 20.6%), a similar incidence of chest trauma (16.7% versus 14.7%), but a higher incidence of extremity trauma (65.8% versus 53.0%). There were 7 in-hospital deaths, 6 due to severe head injury and 1 due to severe abdominal trauma; 6 of the 7 deaths were caused by explosions, and all but 1 occurred in children 15 to 18 years old.


AACP cause significant morbidity and mortality in children, especially adolescents. Injury severity is significantly higher among children who are injured by explosions rather than by shootings.

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