Pediatric cranial injuries: the Syrian civil war

Cingoz I. D., Kaya I., ŞAHİN M. C., VURAL M.

CHILDS NERVOUS SYSTEM, vol.38, no.9, pp.1743-1749, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00381-022-05556-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1743-1749
  • Keywords: Gunshot injury, Childhood, Mortality, Survival, Surgery, Syrian war, INTRACRANIAL GUNSHOT WOUNDS, HEAD, MANAGEMENT, CASUALTIES, PATTERNS, CHILDREN, BRAIN, IRAQ
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: Yes


Objective Kilis, Turkey, a city near Aleppo, Afrin and Azez, Syria, where conflicts are intense, is one of the cities that provides initial emergency treatment. The aim in this study was to analyze the clinical and radiological characteristics of and treatment methods and results in pediatric patients admitted to Kilis State Hospital with cranial gunshot wounds obtained during the Syrian war. Materials and methods In this study, 62 pediatric patients treated for cranial gunshot wounds obtained during the civil war in Syria between December 2011 and May 2017 at the Neurosurgery Clinic of Kilis State Hospital on the Turkish side of the Turkey-Syria border were retrospectively analyzed. Results A total of 62 patients were evaluated. Forty-six (74.2%) patients were male and 16 (25.8%) were female. The mean age of the patients was 11.4 +/- 6.3 (range: 1 month to 18 years) years. The mean Glasgow coma scale (GCS) score was 7.2 +/- 3.8. Surgical treatment was performed in 36 patients (58.1%). Six (16.7%) of the surgically treated patients and 15 (57.7%) of the conservatively treated patients died (p < 0.001). While good clinical results (GOS4-5) were obtained in 24 (66.7%) patients who underwent surgical treatment, only 8 (30.8%) patients who underwent conservative treatment had good clinical results (GOS 4-5). The treatment results in patients with a GCS score of between 9 and 15 who were treated with both methods were significantly better (GOS score of 4-5) (p < 0.05) than those in patients with a GCS score of 8 or lower. The treatment results of the patients aged 10-18 years were significantly better than those of patients aged 0-9 years (GOS 4-5) (p < 0.05). Conclusion In this study, the GCS score on admission was a significant predictive factor for survival in pediatric patients with cranial gunshot wounds. The outcomes of patients aged 0-9 years with severe neurological damage were worse than those in patients aged 10-18 years. On the basis of the analyses of the treatment methods and GCS and GOS scores of the patients in our study, we conclude that surgical treatment should be performed immediately in all patients with radiological indications and a GCS score higher than 3. Additionally, we conclude that child soldiers exist in Syria.