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Human bite wounds demand prompt treatment

Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:21PM BST

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The longer people take to seek treatment after suffering a bite wound from someone, the greater their risk the wound will become infected, according to a review of human bite injury cases treated at an Irish plastic surgery unit.

Many victims also failed to get recommended follow-up treatment, Dr. Patricia A. Eadie and her colleagues from St. James Hospital in Dublin found, raising the risk of permanent scarring and functional damage.

"Late-night alcohol-fueled aggression" is the most common cause of such injuries, Eadie and her team report in the Emergency Medicine Journal. Guidelines recommend treating bite wounds like an infected surgical wound, by cleansing the area, removing infected tissue, and closing the wound as quickly as possible.

To better understand the nature of these wounds and their management, the researchers reviewed the cases of all patients who had been referred to their plastic surgery unit for treatment of human bite injuries from 2003 to 2005.

During that period, the researchers treated 92 patients with 96 human bite wounds. In 86 percent of cases, the victim had been drinking. Seventy percent of the bites occurred during the weekend or on a public holiday.

Bites to the face accounted for 70 percent of the injuries, with the ear being the site most commonly affected. Eighteen patients developed infections, and those who waited to go to the hospital for 12 hours or longer after the injury occurred were at the highest risk of infection. Upper limb injuries also were more likely to become infected than injuries to other parts of the body.

After initial treatment, 47 percent of the patients failed to return for follow-up visits, Eadie and her colleagues found. Just 14 percent underwent surgery to reconstruct the affected area, or planned to do so.

"Bite wounds present a challenge to any emergency department given the many issues involved in their management," the researchers conclude. Failing to deal with any of these issues "may result in a potentially devastating complication" involving function, infection or appearance.

SOURCE: Emergency Medicine Journal, July 1, 2007.

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More wasted taxpayers money on stating the obvious. Like the example is coffe hot? do you need a warning label to ride a bicycle at night? Americans have so much wasted breath up their A?? they need to take a deep breath and learn to cope with can you survive withouth electricy, running water, air conditioning, cell phones, Come to the gulf coast after a major hurricane and you will get a taste of the apocalypse, but we know that help is on the way. ONe day man will have to resort back to the hunter/gatherer mode and only the strong will survive.

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During that period, the researchers treated 92 patients with 96 human bite wounds. In 86 percent of cases, the victim had been drinking.
The victim? What about the biter? Frankly, if I'm going to be the victim of a psuedo-cannibal, I think I'd want to be a little drunk.
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Guest Tigrinum Major

More wasted taxpayers money on stating the obvious.

It was done by a Dublin hospital. Reading is fundamental.

During that period, the researchers treated 92 patients with 96 human bite wounds. In 86 percent of cases, the victim had been drinking.
The victim? What about the biter? Frankly, if I'm going to be the victim of a psuedo-cannibal, I think I'd want to be a little drunk.

They're Irish. Not to be a perpetuator of stereotypes, but the 14% that weren't drinking might be an anomoly.

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I would love to know how this idea came about. Did one of the researchers get bitten in a bar and think "now that's what we should study, human bites!"

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Guest Tigrinum Major

It was done by a Dublin hospital. Reading is fundamental.

They don't pay taxes in Ireland? Cool.

I doubt the person whining about it does.

I don't care what they do with Irish tax money.

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It was done by a Dublin hospital. Reading is fundamental.

They don't pay taxes in Ireland? Cool.

I doubt the person whining about it does.

I don't care what they do with Irish tax money.

Why do you hate the Irish?

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