Gunshot injuries in Benghazi-Libya in 2011: the Libyan conflict and beyond



Bodalal Z, Mansor S.


Surgeon. 2013 Oct;11(5):258-63. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2013.05.004. Epub 2013 Jun 3.


BACKGROUND: Since independence, Libya has never experienced personal ownership of arms. That changed during the Libyan conflict where weapons became widespread in the society. As a result gunshot injuries became a concern for surgeons at our principal surgical hospital (Al-Jalaa). This study aims at analyzing the gunshot injuries that took place during 2011 and highlighting the peculiarities in the Libyan scenario. METHODS: Patient records were obtained and gunshot injuries were analyzed for various parameters. Statistical analyses were made taking into consideration situations faced by neighbouring countries. RESULTS: In 2011, 1761 patients were admitted with over 95% being male and over 97% were Libyan. The average age of a GSI patient was 28.32 ± 10.01 years. Patients aged 18-35 formed over 70% of the cases with half of all cases being treated by the orthopedics department. Sixty-eight percent of cases were injured in the extremities followed by chest (12.5%) and abdomen injuries (7.8%). The mortality rate for GSI’s was found to be 5.6% overall with young age, site of injury (i.e. chest and head) and cause of injury (i.e. war or civilian fighting) being important risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: Taking into consideration the difficult operating conditions and limited resources, surgeons at our hospital were able to maintain a low mortality rate. Disarmament needs to begin as soon as possible because these injuries will continue to occur so long firearms are available in society. CI – Copyright © 2013 Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Scottish charity number SC005317) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Link/DOI: 10.1016/j.surge.2013.05.004