PHOENIX -- Prior studies have shown that most dog-bite injuries result from family dogs. A recent study conducted by Mayo Clinic and Phoenix Children's Hospital shed some further light on the nature of these injuries.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/8/2015 (2240 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

PHOENIX -- Prior studies have shown that most dog-bite injuries result from family dogs. A recent study conducted by Mayo Clinic and Phoenix Children's Hospital shed some further light on the nature of these injuries.

The recently published study, in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, demonstrated that more than 50 per cent of the dog-bite injuries treated at Phoenix Children's Hospital came from dogs belonging to an immediate family member.

The retrospective study looked at a 74-month period between 2007 and 2013 in which there were 670 dog-bite injuries treated at Phoenix Children's Hospital. Of those, 282 were severe enough to require evaluation by the trauma team or transportation by ambulance. Characteristics of the most common injuries included:

  • The most common patient age was five years, but spanned from two months to 17 years. -- Both genders were affected (55 per cent male).
  • Twenty-eight dog breeds were identified. The most common was pit bull.
  • More than 50 per cent of the dogs belonged to the patient's immediate family.
  • The most common injuries were lacerations (often to the face), but there were also fractures and critical injuries such as severe neck and genital trauma.

"More than 60 per cent of the injuries we studied required an operation," said lead author Dr. Erin Garvey, a surgical resident at Mayo Clinic. "While the majority of patients were able to go home the next day, the psychological effects of being bitten by a dog also need to be taken into account."

"The biggest warning from this study is that familiarity with a dog may confer a false sense of safety," said Dr. Ramin Jamshidi, senior author on the study and a pediatric surgeon at Phoenix Children's Hospital and medical director of pediatric trauma at Maricopa Medical Center.

"The next step is to find out what type of education is needed and for whom -- the parents, owners of the dogs and even the kids themselves," Garvey said.

"Above all, we are interested in the health of children, so we hope to educate families on the importance of following safety tips and guidelines when dealing with dogs, even the well-known family pet at home," said Jamshidi.

 

-- Tribune Content Agency