Emergency service experience following the terrorist attack in Mogadishu, 14 October 2017, a scene of lay rescuer triage

Published:December 08, 2020DOI:



      A suicide bomber attack occurred in Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu on October 14, 2017. Over 500 people died, making it the third largest suicide bombing attack in world history. In this study, we aimed to share our experience and to discuss the importance of triage and prehospital care systems.


      These retrospective data included data from patients who suffered from severe explosions. Patient triage was performed using the START (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) triage algorithm at the entrance of the hospital. The patients included in the study were classified according to their age, sex, triage code, location of their major injury, department to which they were admitted, and discharge and/or exit status.


      The patients included 188 (74.6%) males, and the mean age was 30.94 ± 12.23 years (range, 1–80 years). Eighty-six (34.1%) patients were marked with a red code indicating major injury, and 138 (54.8%) patients had superficial injuries. A total of 173 (68.7%) patients were managed in the emergency department (ED), and 7 (2.8%) patients died in the first 24 h. Multiple trauma injuries were detected in 43 (17.1%) patients, and 31 (12.3%) patients were admitted to the orthopedics department.


      Disaster management in a terrorist event requires rapid transport, appropriate triage, effective surgical approaches, and specific postoperative care. In this event, almost all patients were brought to the ED by lay rescuers. Appropriate triage algorithms for the public can be designed; for instance, green code: walking patient; yellow code: patient who is moving and asking for help; red code: unmoving or less mobile patient who is breathing; black code: nonbreathing patient.


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