Malala’s injuries and treatment: some details and updates


Photo released by QEHB on Oct 19, 2012. Malala, the world is praying for you.

For official updates on Malala Yousufzai’s condition, see this website set up by Queen Elizabeth HospitalBirmingham, where she is being treated. An additional update posted on Friday 19 October 2012, at 13:50 hours (reproduced below), lists details of her injuries and what’s being done to treat them. The latest update is that she is stable, comfortable and responding well. She is communicating through writing notes, and thanks all well-wishers for their support and the doctors and nurses who are treating her. She will need a significant period of rest and recuperation before undergoing reconstructive surgery.

The injury

  • Malala was shot at point blank range
  • Bullet hit left brow – instead of penetrating skull it travelled underneath the skin, the whole length of side of head and into neck
  • Shock wave shattered thinnest bone of skull and fragments were driven into the brain
  • Soft tissues at base of jaw/neck damaged
  • Bullet carried on through, across top of shoulder and landed above the left shoulder blade
  • The surgery to remove the bullet was successful and she was moved to the intensive care unit
  • She was then reviewed and she was transferred by the military army to specialised military facilities in Rawalpindi
  • She stabilised and improved
  • Transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) on Monday 15 October due to their expertise in gunshot and blast injuries

Care at QEHB

  • Malala was not conscious on arrival; she was in a medically-induced coma
  • Her sedation was reduced by the clinical team in a controlled manner and she regained consciousness on Tuesday afternoon
  • She had some movement then and that has since strengthened
  • At University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) she was re-evaluated fully and a number of further injuries were identified:
    • Injured left jawbone at its joint
    • Fracture of bone behind ear
    • Fracture of base of the skull

What is her condition now?

  • She is not on a ventilator; she has had a trachiostomy and is breathing through the tube in her neck
  • Can’t talk because of tube in throat but can communicate through writing
  • Understandably gets tired very easily
  • Aware of surroundings
  • Impact of brain injury, not been able to do full evaluation because brain is still swollen
  • She has movement of her arms and legs
  • She has stood with assistance from nurses
  • She is currently fighting an infection

Next steps in care

  • Needs time to recover and recuperate
  • She is still very ill
  • We need to get her strong enough to do reconstructive surgery
  • The skull bone will need to be replaced either with her own bone or with a titanium plate
  • Surgery weeks to months down the line
  • This is a fluid situation and she sustained a very, very grave injury. She’s not out of the woods yet, but we are hopeful she will make a good recovery

2 Responses

  1. thanks to God and Pakistan Army’s Medical team in Pakistan and Queen Elizabeth hospital and the medical team with all staff who are trying to save Malala’s Life. thank you Benna sarwar for sharing this news.


  2. the world is her oyster and opportunities unlimited if she got 50K for education from Angelina Jolie.


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