Purpose: In August 2012, the Zaatari refugee camp was opened in Jordan under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. France deployed there a surgical facility to treat victims of war trauma.
Methods: After a phase of intensive care and resuscitation, surgical management meeting the current standards of war surgery was conducted. Then, patients were transferred to a Jordanian civilian hospital or stayed in the Zaatari camp. A retrospective analysis of patient data was performed.
Results: From January to March 2013, 95 patients were managed: 85% of patients were male with a median age of 27 years (4-65); 5% of patients were <18 years of age. All patients were Syrian, civilian or members of the "Free Syrian Army." Penetrating trauma accounted for 95% of lesions. A total of 105 surgeries were performed, including: 33 external fixators, 8 laparotomies, 8 nerve repairs, 6 cover flaps, 4 direct arterial repairs, 2 reversed saphenous vein bypass grafts, and 1 amputation. The median length of stay on the wards was 3.71 days; 43% of patients were transferred to Jordanian civilian hospitals.
Conclusions: The presence at the Zaatari camp of a surgical facility, which is experienced and specialized in war surgery, is essential, as long as battles are ongoing. Many victims will later require long-term surgical care for the management of the sequelae associated with these traumas.