First Aid for the dog bite victim

First Aid for Dog Bite Victim

Victim of rabid dog, cat or bite of any other animal that can transmit rabies should be brought to emergency room immediately. In the emergency room a doctor, nurse or health care attendant should follow the following steps.

1. Reassurance and Counseling

The victims of animal bite are often fearful and worried. Especially when they think or know that the animal which has bitten was infected with rabies. Rabies is a deadly disease indeed. So reassurance and counseling should be done. Handle them with care, soothe the child and show him care and gently ask him to allow you to handle his wound. Tell him that you are going to wash the wound and vaccinate him and the chance of getting rabies will be very low.

2. Assess the number, location and depth of wound

Adults are usually cooperative and will tell you the number and location of wound with accuracy. In case of children you must be careful. They may not cooperate due to fear. Undress them and examine carefully for scratches and wounds. Measure the size and depth of wound.

3. Wound Washing.

Wash the wound through with water and soap. Wash the wound again if it had been washed elsewhere. Remove all the dirt oil, chilly and turmeric, as the people of rural areas usually apply these things on the wound. Flush the wound and do deep cleansing. Soap should be used as it denatures the virus protein and help to minimize the infection. If wound is deep, used saline filled syringe to wash the wound. After thorough cleaning for 10-15 minutes, pyodine should be applied. Don’t apply tincture iodine as it causes burning of tissues. Don’t suture the wound and cover it with a sterile gauze until further decision. If wound is too deep or if a very deep wound is present on the face then loose sutures can be applied. Proper suturing should be done 2-3 days later.

4. Wound categorization and Vaccination.

Proper wound washing, decreases the incidence of transmission of rabies by 33%. Once wound is washed, categorize and wound and decide according to category of wound.

For Categories of wounds and management Click Here



Guidelines for human rabies prevention in Pakistan by Dr. Naseem Salahuddin

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