Retrospective analysis of case series of patients with vascular war injury treated in a district hospital

Tal Salamon, Alexander Lerner, David Rothem, Alexander Altshuler, Ron Karmeli, Evgeny Solomonov, Seema Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction As the Syrian civil war continues, medical care of the injured remains a priority for health facilities receiving casualties. Ziv Medical Centre, the closest hospital in Israel to the Syrian border, has received 500 casualties since February 2013. Seventeen of these patients had vascular injuries. This research reports the care of these seventeen patients and explores the challenges of treatment in patients with little antecedent clinical history and improvised initial care that may be complicated by delay to definitive care, sepsis and limb ischaemia. Method Electronic and paper patient records were examined. Descriptive case series data are presented. Results Fifteen of the 17 patients were male. The mean age was 20 years (range 8-30 years). Causes of injury included gunshot wounds (4 patients), shrapnel (multi-fragment) injury (12 patients), and 1 patient was run over and dragged behind a car. The time from injury to transfer to definitive care ranged from 5 h to 7 days (mean 43 h). All but one patient had associated non-vascular multiple-trauma. Thirteen patients presented with limb ischaemia. Four patients had arterio-venous fistula (AVF) or pseudoaneurysm. There were 5 upper and 10 lower limb major vascular injuries. Three patients had neck vessel injuries. All patients were investigated with CT angiography and underwent surgical or endovascular intervention. In 12 patients, 4 vessels were debrided and re-anastomosed and 13 vessels bypassed. Endovascular repair was performed in 4 patients. After initial revascularisation, 4 patients went on to amputation. There were no deaths. Conclusions The injuries treated are heterogeneous, and reflect the range of high energy vascular trauma expected in conflict. The broad range of vascular solutions required to optimise outcomes, in particular, limb salvage, in turn, reflect the challenges of dealing with such injuries, especially within the context of sepsis, ischaemia and delay. As war continues, there is a pressing need to address the needs of patients with high energy injuries in austere environments where there is a dearth of health resources and where definitive care may be days away.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-817
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Amputation
  • Bypass
  • Graft
  • Injury
  • Trauma
  • Vascular
  • War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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