First Aid
Bites
 

​Introduction: 

Animal bites are common and the bite can cause a minor wound, but it can be accompanied by serious complications. One of the most serious complications of bites is rabies, so you should know what to do when bitten.

Animal Bites:

Dog Bites:
Most bites occur in children, more likely to sustain injuries in their neck and head. In adults the bites occur to shoulders and legs, particularly the right hand. A dog bite can lead to a range of injuries, including scratches, deep open cuts, and tearing away of a body part. Dog bites rarely cause death.

Cat Bites:
Cats can cause wounds with their teeth or claws. Most of cat bites involve the upper extremities such as arms, hands and face. Deep wounds are a concern because cats have long, sharp teeth, so bacteria can reach the bone, or joint, leading to inflammation. Infection causes redness, swelling, and severe pain quickly between 12 and 24 hours after the bite.

Rodents Bites:
The most common are rats, and bites occur at night, often on the hands or face.

Human Bites:
Children are more susceptible to this type of bites, as a result of playing with an aggressive child. The bites result in a semi-circular or oval red patch and may cause bruising or holes in place of teeth. These bites are usually located on face, upper arms and trunk. 

Risk of Rabies:
Anyone who is bitten by animals such as raccoons, foxes, or bats needs immediate medical attention even if the wound is minor; as these animals may be rabies-carrying.

First Aid for Bites:
  • Wash the area with soap and water to reduce infection. 
  • Apply emergency medical care such as:

Minor Wounds:
  • Wash the wound thoroughly.
  • Apply antibiotic cream.
  • Cover the wound with clean gauze.
Go to emergency immediately when the wound is red, painful, with high body temperature, swelling, or if you suspect the dog was frenzied.

Deep Wounds:
  • Squeeze the wound with a clean gauze to stop bleeding. 
  • If you cannot stop the bleeding, or if you feel exhausted, call emergency. 
  • Go to the doctor as soon as possible to examine the wound.

When to see a doctor:
  • If severe bleeding cannot be stopped after applying pressure for 15 minutes, or having severe pain.
  • If you notice a high body temperature, or when the wound is red, or feel pain, with swelling.
  • If the bite is deep, five years have passed since the last tetanus shot.
  • If the bite wound is large.
  • If the patient has diabetes, liver disease, cancer, weakened immune system.











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