No matter how much you may love dogs, some of them occasionally become dangerous. In Hawaii, more than 1,000 people a year are bitten by dogs. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are 4.5 million dog bites in the United States annually.
Approximately one in five dog bite victims, or about 885,000 people a year, will require medical treatment. Of those 885,000, more than 30,000 will suffer bites severe enough that they will require reconstructive surgery. Many factors must be considered if you or your child have suffered a dog bite, and a personal injury attorney will know whether or not you have a basis for legal action. Contact us now for a free consultation.
Immediate dog bite treatment.
Even if you are injured severely enough to need medical treatment, there are some immediate measures you should take.
- If the bite area is bleeding, you need to use a clean cloth and apply slight pressure on the wound site in order to stop the bleeding.
- Gently clean the area with soap and warm water.
- Dry the area and apply an antibiotic ointment and periodically reapply according to the directions on the medication label. Bandage the wound with a clean, fresh bandage.
- Elevate the wounded area.
- If there is no pain and little or no breaking of the skin, check the bite area frequently for a few days for any indications of infection.
Indications you should seek medical treatment.
There may be reasons you do not want to go to the doctor, but there are some serious health risks, including bacterial infections, that can arise if a serious bite is left untreated. If you have suffered any of the following, you should seek medical treatment.
- If the bite causes pain or seems to be deep, a doctor needs to determine whether there has been damage to any nerves, muscles, bones or tendons. Depending on the location and extent of the injury, stitches may be required.
- If the bleeding is extreme and you have trouble stopping it, you need to seek immediate medical treatment.
- If you have any medical condition that has the potential for suppressing your immune system, like liver disease or diabetes, you need to seek medical attention.
Information the doctor will want you to provide.
- Is the dog owner someone you know?
- Is the dog up to date on its vaccinations, particularly rabies?
- Do you know what caused the dog to bite you? Was it sudden and unprovoked or in response to some action on your part?
- Is your tetanus shot up to date?
If you have been bitten by a dog in Hawaii, you need to consult with a personal injury attorney who will know the dog bite laws of the state. An attorney will review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a reason to take any legal action. You may be eligible to get compensation for your medical expenses as well as other damages. Call us now, the consultation is free.