Connecticut residents of any age can become the victim of a dog bite in a variety of situations. Knowing how to respond and care for injuries can help to reduce the potential for serious infections to develop. American Family Physician notes that a large percentage of dog bites result from dogs that people actually know, including their own family pets. Children are also frequently those who are injured and bitten by dogs.
While any dog bite injury can result in a subsequent infection, some persons are more susceptible to this than others. These include people who have suppressed immune systems, liver problems, diabetes, prosthetic limbs or valves or other chronic illnesses. Thorough rinsing of the bite wound area with a saline solution or even soap and water can help to reduce this risk.
WebMD.com adds that in addition to infection prevention, curbing or stopping any bleeding is important. This can be done by wrapping a towel around the area and then elevating it above the heart level. If possible, the application of a sterile bandage can be done once a wound has been cleaned. When professional medical attention is necessary, physicians and other health care providers will need to assess the victim’s overall health and medical condition. The current status of tetanus vaccines should be noted and the risk of rabies also considered.
Using stitches is not the preferred option for a dog bite unless the bite is deep enough to necessitate it. Another time that sutures may be used is when the victim’s face has been bitten as sutures can help to limit permanent scarring. Otherwise, other methods of bandaging an area are used so that wounds can be monitored and infection risk minimized.