Objectives: Combat injuries in worldwide military conflicts have been reported frequently, however publications on injuries of unprotected civilians caused by bomb attacks and bullets are rare.
The present report gives an overview of the range of complex cranio-maxillo-facial injuries in victims of violence inside Iraq who were treated within a humanitarian project initiated in Amman/Jordan since 2006 from the NGO-Group “Doctors without Borders” in collaboration with “Iraqi Medical Association” and “Jordan Red Crescent Society”. Due to the critical and unsafe situation in Iraq, reconstructive surgery for the large number of residual deformities secondary to the cranio-maxillo-facial war injuries is presently inadequate.
Material and method: All patients who entered this project and were treated during the period from August 2006 until December 2007 were reviewed retrospectively with regard to type of injury, previous treatment, surgical treatment, complications, and postoperative outcome. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed.
Results: A total number of 144 different complex cranio-maxillo-facial reconstructive procedures were done during the period August 2006 to December 2007. All cases are residual deformities that either had received inadequate treatment at the time of injury, or got a complication of the primary treatment, or had inadequate access to proper reconstructive surgery unit inside Iraq.
Summary: Unprotected civilians are vulnerable to receive and express the maximum wounding capacity during armed conflicts. However, this paper is showing that there is a considerably significant chance of patients with such severe residual deformities to re-gain adequate function, that can help heal their physical and psychological trauma.
Conflict of interest: None declared.