Injury patterns of soldiers in the second Lebanon war

Dagan Schwartz, Elon Glassberg, Roy Nadler, Gil Hirschhorn, Ophir Cohen Marom, Limor Aharonson-Daniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In the second Lebanon war in 2006, the Israeli Defense Forces fought against well-prepared and well-equipped paramilitary forces. The conflict took place near the Israeli border and major Israeli medical centers. Good data records were maintained throughout the campaign, allowing accurate analysis of injury characteristics. This study is an in-depth analysis of injury mechanisms, severity, and anatomic locations. METHODS: Data regarding all injured soldiers were collected from all care points up to the definitive care hospitals and were crossreferenced. In addition, trauma branch physicians and nurses interviewed medical teams to validate data accuracy. Injuries were analyzed using Injury Severity Score (ISS) (when precise anatomic data were available) and multiple injury patterns scoring for all. RESULTS: A total of 833 soldiers sustained combat-related injury during the study period, including 119 fatalities (14.3%). Although most soldiers (361) sustained injury only to one Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) region, the average number of regions per soldier was 2.0 but was 1.5 for survivors versus 4.2 for fatalities. CONCLUSION: Current war injury classifications have limitations that hinder valid comparisons between campaigns and settings. In addition, limitation on full autopsy in war fatalities further hinders data use. To partly compensate for those limitations, we have looked at the correlation between fatality rates and number of involved anatomic regions and found it to be strong.We have also found high fatality rates in some "combined" injuries such as head and chest injuries (71%) or in the abdomen and an extremity (75%). The use of multiinjury patterns analysis may help understand fatality rates and improve the utility of war injury analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-166
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Combat casualties
  • Injury Severity Score (ISS)
  • Military medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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