How authorities, medical personnel deal with dog attacks

Florida residents may be surprised to learn that dog bites are fairly common in some areas, but the majority of these bites are not severe. A recent review of records in a New York hospital indicated that only a handful of more than 100 cases were severe in nature. However, medical personnel indicate that the procedures for treating a dog bite are of critical importance, in some cases making the difference between life and death.

Injuries that can result from a bite include possible crush injuries, broken bones or nerve damage, according to an EMS chief at the hospital. The first step in dealing with a wound is to stop the bleeding. Following this, the wound should be irrigated and cleaned to reduce the risk of infection. According to medical experts, the closure of a bite on an extremity may be delayed to avoid the possibility of trapping bacteria in the area.

A decision to pursue medical attention may also be based on information about the dog involved in the attack. In cases of a family dog in good health and current on shots nipping at a member of the household, cleaning the wound alone may be sufficient. However, it is still wise to watch for unusual behavior. In the case of a significant amount of bleeding or numbness, an emergency room visit is warranted.

When police are notified of a dog incident, proper reports must be issued. The area health department may also be contacted. In cases involving possible criminal offenses, a district attorney may also be contacted.

An individual who is seriously injured in a dog incident may want to discuss the details of the encounter with an attorney, particularly if negligent behavior on the part of the dog’s owner is suspected to have contributed to the situation. An attorney may evaluate medical reports and police reports to compile information for a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner.

Source: Yonkers Daily Voice, “When The Dog Bites: How Doctors, Police Respond To Attacks“, Suzanne Samin, June 05, 2014