Injury perceptions of bombing survivors - Interviews from the oklahoma City Bombing

Mary T. Glenshaw, Jon S. Vernick, Shannon Frattaroli, Sheryll Brown, Sue Mallonee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Bombings, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, remain an important public health threat. However, there has been little investigation into the impressions of injury risk or protective factors of bombing survivors.Objective: This study analyzes Oklahoma City bombing survivors' impressions of factors that influenced their risk of injury, and validates a hazard timeline outlining phases of injury risk in a building bombing.Methods: In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted within a sample of Oklahoma City bombing survivors. Participants included 15 injured and uninjured survivors, who were located in three buildings surrounding the detonation site during the attack.Results: Risk factor themes included environmental glass, debris, and entrapment. Protective factors included knowledge of egress routes, shielding behaviors to deflect debris, and survival training. Building design and health status were reported as risk and protective factors. The hazard timeline was a useful tool, but should be modified to include a lay rescue phase. The combination of a narrative approach and direct questioning is an effective method of gathering the perceptions of survivors.Conclusions: Investigating survivors' impressions of building bombing hazards is critical to capture injury exposures, behavior patterns, and decision-making processes during actual events, and to identify interventions that will be supported by survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-506
Number of pages7
JournalPrehospital and disaster medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008


  • Oklahoma City bombing
  • bomb
  • injury
  • interview
  • qualitative research
  • risk factor
  • terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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