Objective: Terrorism-related bomb attacks on civilian population have increased dramatically over the last decade. Craniocerebral injuries secondary to improvised explosive devices have not been widely reported in the context of unarmored civilians. This series intends to report the spectrum of these injuries secondary to suicidal and implanted bombs as encountered at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Pakistan (AKUH). Further, a few pertinent management guidelines have also been discussed.
Methods: The hospital database and clinical coding during a 5-year period were examined for head injuries secondary to terrorism-associated blasts. In addition to patient demographics, data analysis for our series included initial Glasgow Coma Scale, presenting neurological complaints, associated non-neurological injuries, management (conservative or operative) to associated complications, and discharge neurological status.
Results: A total of 16 patients were included in this series. Among them 9 were victims of suicidal blasts while 7 were exposed to implanted devices. The patients presented with diverse patterns of injury secondary to a variety of shrapnel. A follow-up record was available for 12 of the 16 patients (mean follow-up: 7.8 months), with most patients having no active complaints.
Conclusion: The results of this series show that civilian victims of suicidal and improvised bombings present with a wide range of neurological symptoms and injury patterns, which often differ from the neurological injuries incurred by military personnel in similar situations, and thereby often require individualized care.
Chinese Journal of Traumatology
(2013). Craniocerebral injuries in war against terrorism --- A contemporary series from Pakistan. Chinese Journal of Traumatology, 16(3), 149-157.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_surg_neurosurg/124
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