Terror-inflicted thermal injury: A retrospective analysis of burns in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between the years 1997 and 2003

Josef Haik, Ariel Tessone, Adi Givon, Alon Liran, Eyal Winkler, David Mendes, Oren Goldan, Eran Bar-Meir, Eli Regev, Arie Orenstein, Kobi Peleg

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17 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Terror attacks have changed in the past decade, with a growing tendency toward explosives and suicide bombings, which led to a rise in the incidence of thermal injuries among victims. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict of October 2000 marked a turning point when an organized terror campaign commenced. This article presents data of terror-associated burns from the Israeli National Trauma Registry (ITR) during the years 1997 to September 2000 and October 2000 to 2003. METHODS: We analyzed demographic and clinical characteristics of 219 terror-related burn patients and 6,546 other burn patients admitted to hospitals in Israel between 1997 and 2003. Data were obtained from the ITR. RESULTS: Burns contributed about 9% of all terror related trauma and about 5% of all other trauma (p < 0.0001). These percentages have not changed significantly before and after October 2000. Terror-related burns afflict Jewish males more than predicted by their percentage in the population, whereas other burns afflict non-Jewish males more than predicted. Adults and young adults (15-59 years) are the predominant group in terror-related burns (80%), whereas children younger than 15 years are the predominant group in other burns (50%). Large burns (20% to 89% total body surface area) are more common in terror casualties, with greater mortality (6.4% in terror-related versus 3.4% in others; p = 0.0258). CONCLUSION: Although the incidence of burns has risen because of an organized campaign, this change was noticeable in other trauma forms as well in similar proportions. Terror-related burns afflict a targeted population, and generally take on a more severe course with greater mortality rates, thus requiring appropriate medical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1501-1505
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Burns
  • Terror
  • Trauma


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