Dog bites: an overview

Dog bites: an overview The incidence of dog bites in Belgium is one percent a year (900 per 100,000 population). Dog bites have important complications both for the society (costs) and the patient (functional and aesthetic discomfort). A retrospective study of patients who received emergency treatment at the Academisch Ziekenhuis Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Brussels, Belgium, between January 2000 and August 2003 was performed. A register of patients was created, and data were included on age, sex, seasonal distribution, bite type, localisation and management of the wounds. Some clinical cases are presented. In the 44-month period January 2000–August 2003, 252 patients (127 males, 125 females) were treated for dog-bite injuries. The mean age was 34 years. Most of the bites were located on the upper extremity in adults and on the face in children. The standard management consisted of extensive rinsing and wound debridement with immunization for tetanus. Eighty-five percent of the patients received antibiotics prophylactically. Almost 20% was seen by a plastic surgeon, and 6% needed a surgical intervention in the operating room. The mean hospital stay was 10 days. The infection rate was 5.6% for the total patient population. European Journal of Plastic Surgery Springer Journals

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