What are the risks and treatments for alligator bites?

Alligators are a fact of life in Florida. For some people, seeing alligators are a big reason for them to come to this state. In fact, some tourism-based businesses in the state have live alligators as the main attraction. Just last week, we discussed the case of a woman who was attacked by an alligator at work. While they aren’t very common, alligator bites can cause very serious injuries.

Do alligators have venom?

Alligators don’t have venom. Even without venom, alligator bites are associated with severe bleeding. The teeth of the alligator can cause severe injuries to the area that is bitten.

What are some risks associated with alligator bites?

The primary risks of alligator bites are infection and bleeding. The soft tissues in the area that is bitten can be damaged. This can sometimes lead to long-lasting injuries because of these damages.

How are alligator bites treated?

The top priority for doctors who treat alligator bites is usually stopping the bleeding. From there, the wounds from the bite are cleaned up. This can involve removing tissues that are seriously damaged. Antibiotics are usually prescribed because of the risks of infections.

How common are alligator bites?

Alligator bites that are reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission occur at a rate of an average of five unprovoked bites per year. Since 1948, 22 people have died because of alligator attacks.

Anyone who is visiting a Florida attraction and is bitten by alligator might opt to seek compensation for the medical care and life changes that occur because of the injuries. Understanding how to handle your claim in Florida is vital.

Source: Merck Manual Consumer Version, “Other Reptile Bites,” Robert A. Barish, MD, MBA and Thomas Arnold, MD, accessed Aug. 16, 2015