Human and animal bites are the most common hand injuries, and most animal bites are from dogs or cats. A number of factors, including characteristics of the bite, age of the victim, bodily location of injury, time to presentation, severity of wound, and virulence of any inciting bacterium, must be considered when deciding on a treatment strategy. Bites to the hand are particularly deleterious owing to the close proximity of tendons, joints, cartilage and bone. Prompt treatment is always appropriate because, a delayed treatment may result in cellulitis, abscess, infectious tenosynovitis, septic arthritis and even sepsis. Primary concerns include the extent of injury and structures involved, animal type and vaccination status, and the patient’s overall health and tolerance to the injury.
Wound Classification and Characteristics
Incidence and Related Conditions
Reproduced from the International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision, Fifth edition, 2016. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2016 https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/246208