Objectives: Since February 1992, the civil war in the former Yugoslavia has left over 140,000 people dead. This study describes the injuries and outcome of patients treated at a provisional war hospital in Bosnia and compares mortality rates with war hospitals from prior armed conflicts.
Design: This is a retrospective review of 1,703 trauma patients treated between March 1993 and October 1993 at the Nova Bila War Hospital.
Results: In Bosnia, the overall mortality was 10.3% (5.0% dead on arrival and 5.3% inhospital deaths). Head injuries, seen in 19.2% of patients, had a mortality of 23.8%. The odds of sustaining a gunshot wound were 2.8 times greater in Bosnia than in Vietnam (p < 0.05). The odds of sustaining a head injury were 1.1 to 1.6 times greater in Bosnia than in Lebanon and Afghanistan (p < 0.05). The overall mortality odds in Bosnia were 3.1 times greater than in Vietnam (p < 0.001), but were equal to those in Lebanon and Afghanistan.
Conclusions: Despite limited personnel and supplies, the inhospital mortality rate was comparable with those found in other war hospitals. The Nova Bila Hospital represents a unique response to the great medical need brought about by the continued fighting in the former Yugoslavia.