Pediatric Trauma Society

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Severe Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries - a Level I Trauma Center Experience
Tal Koppelmann, Ilan Maizlin, Andrei Radulescu, *Robert Thompson Russell
UAB, Birmingham, AL

Severe pediatric dog bite injuries -A level I trauma center experience
BACKGROUND
Dog bites in children are commonly encountered traumatic injuries, varying in severity and pattern. They constitute a significant yet preventable health problem. Our study sought to characterize this type of injury, ultimately utilizing the data to guide the implementation of preventive measures.
METHODS
A retrospective database study utilized the institutional trauma registry for severe dog bites between 2000 and 2015. Charts were reviewed for patient’s demographics, injury patterns, hospitalization details and procedures performed. Severe dog bites were defined as those requiring activation of the surgical trauma team.
RESULTS
Of all cases reviewed, 45 met the inclusion, of which 59% were males and 74% were Caucasian. Age distribution revealed 54% under the age of 6. Mean age 5.4 years (range 0.1-13.7). Immediate surgery was required in 27% of cases. 87.7% of patients required hospitalization, and 69% required ICU care. Median length of stay was 3 days (range 0-46). The majority of dogs were familiar to the patient: 40% were family pets. Pitt-bull was the most common breed to be involved in the attacks, accounting for 56% of cases. Demographic data revealed that most injuries occurred in urban areas (Fig 1).
CONCLUSIONS
Our study suggests that preventive measures should be directed towards careful supervision and education of the pre-school age group, mainly in urban centers and especially in approach to familiar dogs.


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