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How to care for a bite wound until you can seek medical help


Dog bites can cause you serious harm, but how common are they? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog bites affect around 4.5 million Americans each year alone. Around half of those who are bitten are children, most of whom are between the ages of 5 and 9 years old. The problem with children being the most commonly attacked group is the absolute damage even a small dog can do to their bodies. Puncture wounds, gashes, torn ligaments or damaged bones can all result.

If you or your child are attacked by a dog, it’s important to seek medical care immediately. There are serious consequences that can take place if you don’t, since infection or disease could set in. In most cases, the owner will be able to be held liable for the dog attack, and your attorney can help you make a proper claim.

When you’re bitten, it’s important to follow a few steps. First, make sure you stop the bleeding and cover the wound with a clean cloth. Stem the bleeding if possible, and elevate the injury.

If you’re at home and able to wash the wound, carefully do so with soap and water to help limit your exposure to bacteria. A bandage can be used to cover the wound, and antibiotic ointments can be used to help prevent infection.

When you get to the hospital or see a doctor, your wound may be treated further depending on the damage that has been done. If ligaments, joints or bones have been damaged, surgery could be required to repair the damage.

Source: WebMD, “Dog Bites,” accessed Feb. 12, 2016

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