Overview on human bites

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Human bites are considered as one of the most common form of bites handled in emergency departments. Always bear in mind that human bites can often result to infection due to the significant number of bacteria present in the human mouth. If a bite becomes infected, medications or even surgery might be needed.

Who are at risk for human bites?

Bites are likely to occur among young children due to their curious nature or whether they are frustrated or angry. Children and caretakers are usually at risk for human bites.

Even fighting can also lead to bites in both adults and children. Oftentimes, human bites are unintentional usually from a collision or a fall.

Is a bite infected?

Human bites
Since the number of bacteria in the human mouth is significant, human bites can easily result to infection.

Human bites can be mild, moderate or severe. There might be breaks in the skin with or without blood and bruising can also occur. Depending on the location of the bite, there might be an injury to the tendon or joint.

Indications of human bites that are infected

  • Wound that drains pus
  • Swelling or warmth around the wound
  • Fever or chills
  • Pain or tenderness on or around the wound

Since the number of bacteria in the human mouth is significant, human bites can easily result to infection. A doctor must be consulted for any bite that breaks the skin.

It is vital to seek medical care right away if there is swelling, pain or redness in the site of the wound. The human bites that occur close to the face, hands or feet might be more serious. Additionally, a weakened immune system increases the risk for possible complications from human bites.


First aid care

Cleansing and bandaging the wound are the initial forms of treatment for human bites. When a child sustained a bite, you have to wash hands using an antibacterial soap before caring for the bite. If possible, use clean medical gloves to minimize the risk of spreading the bacteria into the wound.

In mild cases without blood, you have to wash the area using water and soap. Do not scrub the wound and utilize sterile bandages to cover it. Do not attempt to close the wound using tape since this might trap bacteria within the wound.

If bleeding is present, elevate the area and apply pressure on the wound with a clean towel or cloth. After cleansing and bandaging the wound, call a doctor as soon as possible.

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