Lessons learned from cross-border medical response to the terrorist bombings in tabba and ras-el-satan, Egypt, on 07 october 2004

Adi Leiba, Amir Blumenfeld, Ariel Hourvitz, Gali Weiss, Michal Peres, Dani Laor, Dagan Schwartz, Jacob Arad, Avishay Goldberg, Yeheskel Levi, Yaron Bar-Dayan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Introduction: Large-scale, terrorist attacks can happen in peripheral areas, which are located close to a country's borders and far from its main medical facilities and involve multi-national casualties and responders. The objective of this study was to analyze the terrorist suicide bombings that occurred on 07 October 2004, near the Israeli-Egyptian border, as representative of such a complex scenario.Methods: Data from formal debriefings after the event were processed in order to learn about victim outcomes, resource utilization, critical events, and time course of the emergency response.Results: A total of 185 injured survivors were repatriated: four were severely wounded, 13 were moderately injured, and 168 were mildly injured. Thirty-eight people died. A forward medical team landed at the border town's airport, which provided reinforcement in the field and in the local hospital. Israeli and Egyptian search and rescue teams collaborated at the destruction site. One-hundred sixty-eight injured patients arrived at the small border hospital that rapidly organized itself for the mass-casualty incident, operating as an evacuation "staging hospital". Twenty-three casualties secondarily were distributed to two major trauma centers in the south and the center of Israel, respectively, either by ambulance or by helicopter.Conclusion: Large-scale, terrorist attacks at a peripheral border zone can be handled by international collaboration, reinforcement of medical teams at the site itself and at the peripheral neighboring hospital, rapid rearrangement of an "evacuation hospital", and efficient transport to trauma centers by ambulances, helicopters, and other aircraft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-257
Number of pages5
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Tabba
  • border
  • evacuation hospital
  • international terror
  • mass-casualty incident (MCI)


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