What happens when you get emergency help for a dog bite?

Most of the time, when you receive a minor bite wound, it can be cleaned out, stitched, and monitored by your emergency room team and general practitioner. Sometimes, bites are more serious and require ongoing treatment to heal. In some cases, surgeries or other forms of treatment will be necessary to fully clean out the tissues and to assess the damage caused by the animal. Knowing the full extent of the injury is vital for making your claim and giving your attorney the information needed to negotiate a settlement.

Deep inspection of a wound is needed before it can be said to be adequately inspected. That means that the wound should be anesthetized, since this can be quite painful without numbing agents. The bottom of the wound as well as the surrounding tissues will need to be assessed.

Once the wound is assessed, debridement may be the next step. This is a way of preventing infection, but it is not as simple as using antibacterial soap and water to clean the wound. Devitalized tissues have to be removed, clots must be removed to reduce the risk of infection from saliva or other matter, and debris has to be removed. The area may be cut in order to provide a better area for stitching and to help the wound heal faster. Normally, surgical wounds heal faster thanks to the sharp edges.

Irrigation is another part of the wound cleaning process. The attending doctor will likely use a needle and syringe to clean the wound with an irrigation solution. Some large wounds will need to be irrigated in an operating room because of the severity of the injury.

An experienced Florida personal injury attorney can help you work to get the compensation you need to cover your medical costs, any lost wages and other damages.

Source: Medscape, “Emergency Department Care,” Alisha Perkins Garth, MD, accessed Jan. 08, 2016