The medical costs of terror: A review of the literature


  • Eytan Ellenberg, MD, MPH, PhD
  • Mark Taragin, MD, MPH
  • Ishay Ostfeld, MD, MA, MHA



terrorism, medical costs, outpatient costs, review


Context: The threat of terrorism is intensifying with a recent rise in the number of death and injuries. Nevertheless, few articles deal with the short- and long-term medical costs of treating and assisting the civilian victims of terror. The objective of this article is to review the literature and describe the medical costs of supporting victims of terrorism.

Method: The authors reviewed the literature on the medical costs following terror attacks in the PubMed/ Medline and Google Web sites. Relevant scientific articles, textbooks, and global reports were included in the research.

Results: There was a scarcity of data related to the medical costs of terror. The authors review the few articles that describe the hospital and outpatient expenses. The terror attacks lead to increasing length of stay and the use of supplementary medical support. The authors detail the relevant global reports and working papers on terrorism that included the cost of injury and the over-all economic impact assessment.

Conclusion: The medical costs result from hospital and outpatient treatment support. There is a clear need to track the long-term fate of the victims of terror. The authors recommend that future research should include all sectors of the healthcare system, including the whole rehabilitation process and have a precise tracking system for all victims.

Author Biographies

Eytan Ellenberg, MD, MPH, PhD

Office of Medical Affairs, National Insurance Institute of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel

Mark Taragin, MD, MPH

Office of Medical Affairs, National Insurance Institute of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel.

Ishay Ostfeld, MD, MA, MHA

Office of Medical Affairs, National Insurance Institute of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel


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How to Cite

Ellenberg, MD, MPH, PhD, E., M. Taragin, MD, MPH, and I. Ostfeld, MD, MA, MHA. “The Medical Costs of Terror: A Review of the Literature”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 14, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 65-40, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2019.0316.



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