Impact of military conflict on a civilian receiving hospital in a war zone

Amram Hadary, William Schecter, Oscar M. Embon, Sharon Einav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To study the impact of war on the workload/finances of a community hospital adjacent to the front. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Community hospitals located nearby/within military conflict zones treat trauma casualties while providing routine surgical services to the community. METHODS: Observational study conducted in Ziv hospital (1 of 3 designated receiving hospitals during the second Lebanon War (12/7/2006-14/8/2006). Data were documented in real-time and retrieved retrospectively from computerized databases. RESULTS: Ziv treated 1509 military/civilian casualties. Seven percent were at least moderately injured. 27.5% of the casualties required admission, preferentially to surgical wards. Critical mortality rate was 7%. There were 48 secondary transfers, half from the department of emergency medicine (ED) and half after in-hospital stabilization/emergency surgery including 7 to free intensive care (ICU) beds to accommodate expected casualties. The General Surgery department (GSD) performed 81 operating room (OR) procedures, including explorations/debridements for casualties (n ≤ 24, 0-3 per-day), laparotomies for acute abdomen (n ≤ 33) and cancer surgery (n ≤ 11).Compared with previous/later years, there were 23% more trauma casualties presenting to the ED and an increased OR workload for Orthopedic surgery. Decreases occurred in the number of elective and emergency admissions (10%), obstetric deliveries (28%), OR procedures (33%), GSD OR procedures (44%), hospital revenues (up to 43%), yearly hospitalization days (7%), number of hospitalized patients, bed occupancy rates, and visits to outpatient clinics (all 5%). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of civilian/military casualties resulted in reorganization of hospital operations with significantly decreased accrued revenue. The bulk of the GSD workload shifts from the OR to the ED/wards while Orthopedic procedures and ICU beds become bottlenecks to patient flow during war.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Economics
  • Hospital
  • Hospitals
  • Military medicine
  • Operative
  • Surgery
  • Surgical procedures
  • War
  • Wounds and injuries


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