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

Lisa D. Amir*, Limor Aharonson-Daniel, Kobi Peleg, Yehezkel Waisman, R. Alfici, E. Ishtov, J. Jeroukhimov, Y. Klein, Y. Kluger, M. Michaelson, A. Rivkind, G. Shaked, D. Simon, M. Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To characterize the injuries to children by acts against civilian populations (AACP). Summary Background Data: Only 2 articles have focused on the spectrum and severity of injuries to children by AACP. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-670
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


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