Description of blast injuries and predictors of admission to hospital in blast victims in an urban civilian setting


  • Mazen J. El Sayed, MD, MPH, FAAEM, FACEP
  • Hady Zgheib, MD
  • Rana Bachir, MPH
  • Hussein Abou Ghaddara, MD



blast injury, civilian, predictors, hospital admission, Lebanon


Introduction: Blast injuries characteristics and outcomes are not well described in urban civilian settings.

Objectives: To describe blast injuries characteristics and to identify predictors of hospital admission after sustaining a blast injury.

Methods: Retrospective chart review study of blast victims who presented to the Emergency Department (ED) of a tertiary care center in Beirut, Lebanon, over 8 years. The authors conducted a descriptive analysis, followed by a multivariate analysis to identify predictors.

Results: A total of 59 patients were included. They were mostly males (81.4 percent) with a mean age of 35.4 ( ± 15) years with high rate of admission to the hospital (71.2 percent). Surface injury (mainly open wounds) was most common (91.5 percent). Injuries involved mainly the face (45.8 percent) and thigh/knee (33.9 percent). Significant associations were identified between different injury locations. Significant predictors of hospital admission in blast victims were internal injury (odds ratio [OR] = 11.6, 95% confidence interval [CI; 1.7, 79.9]), orthopedic injury (OR = 41.1, 95% CI [3.4, 496.2]), and undergoing a chest X-ray in the ED (OR = 14.3, 95% CI [2.2, 93.3]).

Conclusion: Blasts in a civilian setting result in a wide range of injuries. Facial injuries were most common in our setting with close associations between injuries of different organ systems. Identified predictors of hospital admission can help guide disposition decision for blast victims in the ED.

Author Biographies

Mazen J. El Sayed, MD, MPH, FAAEM, FACEP

Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, Director of Emergency Medical Services & Prehospital Care, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon; EMS & Prehospital Care Program, Department of Emergency Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

Hady Zgheib, MD

Department of Emergency Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

Rana Bachir, MPH

Department of Emergency Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

Hussein Abou Ghaddara, MD

Department of Emergency Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon


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How to Cite

El Sayed, MD, MPH, FAAEM, FACEP, M. J., H. Zgheib, MD, R. Bachir, MPH, and H. A. Ghaddara, MD. “Description of Blast Injuries and Predictors of Admission to Hospital in Blast Victims in an Urban Civilian Setting”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 10, no. 4, Oct. 2015, pp. 309-15, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2015.0213.