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From 1985 to 1987, three Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon were attacked several times by a Lebanese militia. We present a review of 1276 casualties who were wounded in the refugee camp of Bourj al-Barajneh during two such attacks between December 1985 and April 1987. All were treated in Haifa Hospital (30–40 beds), which had limited equipment, was situated inside the refugee camp and was badly damaged by war. During both attacks, the refugee camp was surrounded and put under siege such that patients could not be evacuated and supplies were not allowed in. The second period lasted almost 6 months resulting in severe shortages of medicines, equipment and food, leading to a rationing of resources and modification of treatment. More than 300 operations were carried out under general anaesthesia, the remainder under local or without anaesthesia. The overall operative mortality was 3.2 per cent. Despite the deprivation, many patients survived severe and complicated wounds because they were quickly brought to the hospital, provided with adequate quantities of fresh blood for transfusion, and sound surgical principles were followed.
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Accepted: November 27, 1991
© 1992 Published by Elsevier Inc.