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Original Research

Open Access

Stray bullet injuries in a tertiary care center


1Department of Emergency Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

DOI: 10.22514/SV121.102016.18 Vol.12,Issue S1,October 2016 pp.106-110

Published: 10 October 2016

*Corresponding Author(s): 'AFIF MUFARRIJ E-mail:


Background. A stray bullet injury is de-fined as an accidental firearm injury oc-curring outdoors by an anonymous at-tacker. Stray bullet injuries are rare, but not uncommon in certain parts of the world. In Pakistan, 165 patients with stray bullet injuries were recorded between 2006 and 2010.

Objectives. In Lebanon, gunshots may oc-cur during politicians’ speeches, funerals and after exam results are published. No studies to date have looked at the details and consequences of these gunshot inju-ries.

Methods. A retrospective chart review of patients presenting to an emergency de-partment (ED) in Beirut, Lebanon, from 2010 to 2015, with clear stray bullet inju-ries was conducted. Variables included: demographics, injured body part, admis-sion to hospital, number of days in hospi-tal, length of stay in the ED, mortality, past medical history, emergency severity index, and consequences of injury including sur-gery.

Results. Out of 154 bullet injuries, 12 stray bullet injuries were recorded. Injuries of the lower extremity were most common, followed by the head, shoulder/thorax, abdomen/pelvis and upper extremity. Sur-gery was needed in 7 patients (58.3%). The median length of stay was 3.08 hours in the ED and 4.78 days in hospital. There were no recorded deaths. Consequences of each stray bullet injury are presented.

Conclusion. Stray bullet injuries are com-monly reported on in news and media outlets. This is the first study in Lebanon and the region to document cases of stray bullet injuries presenting to the ED. Bet-ter laws and educational policies need to be implemented to help discourage this practice.


stray bullets, emergency depart-ment, injured body part, consequences of stray bullets, hospital admissions, severity of injury, surgical intervention, Lebanon

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NICHOLAS BATLEY,RINAD BAKHTI,RANA BACHIR,'AFIF MUFARRIJ. Stray bullet injuries in a tertiary care center. Signa Vitae. 2016. 12(S1);106-110.


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