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Journal Article


Briotti DJ, Cransberg DJ, Chidambaram DR, Nasim DS. Injury 2024; 55(6): e111588.


(Copyright © 2024, Elsevier Publishing)






BACKGROUND: Dog bite injuries are a preventable yet common cause of animal related hospitalisation. Dog bites in metropolitan areas have been well characterised however there is limited information regarding dog bites in regional areas. This study sought to describe the demographics, clinical presentation and short-term outcomes of patients presenting with dog bite related injuries to Broome Regional Hospital (BRH).

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study examined all dog bite related injuries presenting to BRH Emergency Department (ED) between July 1st 2021 - June 30th 2023, with the terms "dog" AND "bitten OR bite" in ED triage note. Chart review was performed to extract demographics, clinical presentation and short-term outcomes of dog bite related injuries.

RESULTS: After exclusions, 207 patients were identified during the 2-year study period; approximately four dog-bites per week. Median age was 32 (IQR: 32, range 1-97 years old) with 46 % of patients being female. Residents of the Kimberley represented 78 % of presentations for dog bites. Dogs that belonged to or were known to patients were involved in 74 % of cases. The lower limb below the knee (42 %) was most commonly bitten, followed by the distal upper limb (30.5 %) and then face (13 %). Most patients presented on the same-day (67 %), were treated with antibiotics (79 %) and 83 % were discharged on the day of presentation. There were 43 (23 %) patients who required repair in the ED or operating theatre. Thirty-three patients were admitted to BRH. Seven patients required transfer for subspecialty tertiary level care.

CONCLUSION: Dog-bite trauma is common and consumes significant health resources associated with ED presentations, hospital admissions, theatre usage and transfer in severe cases. A multifaceted approach encompassing education, engineering, and enforcement is required to prevent dog bites.

Language: en


Aeromedical transfer; Bite; Dog; Emergency medicine; Paediatric; Rural


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