Despite nearly a decade of conflict, little is known about trauma and injuries resulting from the Syrian war.
Secondary analysis was conducted of an administrative dataset of patient presentations to a network of 95 war-affected hospitals in Syria from July 2013 - July 2015. Logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with mortality of neurotrauma patients.
Of 193,618 overall trauma presentations, 41,143 were for neurotrauma (37,410 head trauma, 1,407 spinal trauma and 3,133 peripheral nervous system). There were 31,359 males (76.2%) and 9,784 females (23.8%). Males aged 19-30 years (10,113; 24.6%) were the largest single demographic group. Presumed non-combatants including females, elders and children under 13 years (16,214; 39.4%) were the largest group of patients overall. There were 16,881 (41.0%) presentations with blunt injuries (blunt/crush injuries) and 21,307 (51.8%) patients with penetrating injuries (shrapnel, cut, gunshot). A total of 36,589 patients (89.6%) were treated and discharged from the hospital, 2,100 (5.1%) were transferred to another facility, 2,050 patients (5.0%) died in-hospital, 26 remained in the hospital (0.1%), 108 (0.3%) had unknown disposition. The median length of hospital stay was 1 day. There were 4,034 (9.7%) neurosurgical procedures documented. Patients with combined neurotrauma and general trauma suffered 30 times higher mortality than neurotrauma alone (aOR: 30.4; 95%CI: 20.8-44.2, p<0.0001).
The Syrian War resulted in large volumes of neurotrauma patients. Presumed non-combatants comprised 39.4% of patients who survived to treatment at a facility. Further study is needed on long-term needs of neurotrauma victims of the Syrian war.