A casualty is a person who is the victim of an accident, injury, or trauma
Trauma refers to "a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident." It can also be described as "a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow." Major trauma can result in secondary complications such as circulatory shock, respiratory failure and death...
. The word casualties is most often used by the news media to describe deaths and injuries resulting from war
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...
s or disaster
A disaster is a natural or man-made hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment...
s. Casualties is sometimes misunderstood to mean fatalities, but non-fatal injuries are also casualties.
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...
usage, casualties usually refer to combatants who have been rendered combat-ineffective, or all persons lost to active military service, which comprises those killed in action
Killed in action
Killed in action is a casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own forces at the hands of hostile forces. The United States Department of Defense, for example, says that those declared KIA need not have fired their weapons but have been killed due to...
, killed by disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...
, disabled by physical injuries, disabled by psychological trauma
Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event...
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...
In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a "duty" or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning...
, and missing
Missing in action
Missing in action is a casualty Category assigned under the Status of Missing to armed services personnel who are reported missing during active service. They may have been killed, wounded, become a prisoner of war, or deserted. If deceased, neither their remains nor grave can be positively...
, but does not include injuries which do not prevent a person from fighting.
Civilian casualties is a military term describing civilian or non-combatant persons killed, injured, or imprisoned by military action. The description of civilian casualties includes any form of military action regardless of whether civilians were targeted directly...
A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces or other militia. Civilians are distinct from combatants. They are afforded a degree of legal protection from the effects of war and military occupation...
Non-combatant is a term in the law of war describing civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities, as well as persons such as medical personnel and military chaplains who are regular soldiers but are protected because of their function as well as soldiers who are hors de combat ; that is, sick,...
persons killed or injured by military action. The sum of casualties, whether military personnel or civilians, is known as the casualty count. Civilian prisoners of war are also casualties of war, but are counted separately from those injured or killed.
CasualtyIn relation to personnel, any person who is lost to his organization by reason of having been declared dead, wounded, diseased, detained, captured or missing.
Battle casualtyAny casualty incurred as the direct result of hostile action, sustained in combat or relating thereto or sustained going to or returning from a combat mission.
Non-battle casualtyA person who is not a battle casualty, but who is lost to his organization by reason of disease or injury, including persons dying from disease or injury, or by reason of being missing where the absence does not appear to be voluntary or due to enemy action or to being interned.
ImpactAccording to The world health report 2004 by the WHO
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...
, deaths from intentional injuries (including war, violence, but also suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...
), was estimated to be responsible for 2.8%
In mathematics, a percentage is a way of expressing a number as a fraction of 100 . It is often denoted using the percent sign, “%”, or the abbreviation “pct”. For example, 45% is equal to 45/100, or 0.45.Percentages are used to express how large/small one quantity is, relative to another quantity...
of all deaths, causing 26 deaths per 100,000 per year overall (37 in males and 15 in females). In the same report, unintentional injuries was estimated to be responsible for 6.2% of all deaths, causing 57 deaths per 100,000 per year overall (74 in males and 40 in females).
- America's Wars: U.S. Casualties and Veterans http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004615.html. Infoplease.
- Online text http://www.vlib.us/medical/stats/warcasTC.htm: War Casualties (1931), by Albert G. Love, Lt. Colonel, Medical CorpsMedical Corps (United States Army)The Medical Corps of the U.S. Army is a staff corps of the U.S. Army Medical Department consisting of commissioned medical officers – physicians with either an MD or a DO degree, at least one year of post-graduate clinical training, and a state medical license.The MC traces its earliest origins...
, U.S.A.. Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The Army Medical Bulletin Number 24.
- Selected Death Tolls for Wars, Massacres and Atrocities Before the 20th Century http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm.
- Statistical Summary: America's Major Wars http://www.uspoliticsonline.com/archives/warcost.htm. U.S. Civil War Center.
- The world's worst massacres http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1510/is_1987_Fall/ai_5151514/print. By Greg Brecht. Fall, 1987. Whole Earth ReviewWhole Earth ReviewWhole Earth was a magazine which was founded in January 1985 after the merger of the Whole Earth Software Review and the CoEvolution Quarterly. All of these periodicals are descendants of Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog...
- Twentieth Century Atlas – Death Tolls http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat2.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat3.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat4.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat5.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat6.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat7.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat8.htm http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm.
- Gifford, Brian. “Combat Casualties and Race: What Can We Learn from the 2003–2004 Iraq Conflict?” http://afs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/31/2/201. Armed Forces & Society, Jan 2005; vol. 31: pp. 201–225.
- Kummel, Gerhard and Nina Leonhard“Casualties and Civil-Military Relations: The German Polity between Learning and Indifference.” http://afs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/31/4/513.Armed Forces & Society, Jul 2005; vol. 31: pp. 513–535.
- Smith, Hugh. “What Costs Will Democracies Bear? A Review of Popular Theories of Casualty Aversion.” http://afs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/31/4/487. Armed Forces & Society, Jul 2005; vol. 31: pp. 487–512
- Van Der Meulen, Jan and Joseph Soeters.“Considering Casualties: Risk and Loss during Peacekeeping and Warmaking.” http://afs.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/31/4/483. Armed Forces & Society, Jul 2005; vol. 31: pp. 483–486.
- Bennett, Stephen Earl and Richard S. Flickinger. “Americans’ Knowledge of U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq, April 2004 to April 2008.” http://afs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/35/3/587. Armed Forces & Society, Apr 2009; vol. 35: pp. 587–604.
- Varoglu, A. Kadir and Adnan Bicaksiz“Volunteering for Risk: The Culture of the Turkish Armed Forces.” http://afs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/31/4/583. Armed Forces & Society, Jul 2005; vol. 31: pp. 583–598
- Ben-Ari, Eyal. “Epilogue: A ‘Good’ Military Death.” http://afs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/31/4/651. Armed Forces & Society, Jul 2005; vol. 31: pp. 651–664