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Epidemiology, Socioeconomic Analysis, and Specialist Involvement in Dog Bite Wounds in Adults

Lee, Christine J., MD; Santos, Pauline Joy F., MD; Vyas, Raj M., MD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: May 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 3 - p 753ā€“757
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005201
Original Articles
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Dog bites have been well described and characterized in the pediatric population. Comparatively, dog-bite injuries in adults and the settings in which surgeons become involved are less studied. An electronic hospital database identified all patients 18 years or older who were treated for dog bites from 2010 to 2014. Demographics, injury information, intervention type, and payer source were collected. Socioeconomic analysis was performed using Geographic Information Systems mapping. A total of 189 adults presented to the emergency department with dog-bite-related injuries. The most common injury location was the hand (n = 62, 32.8%), followed by the head and neck (n = 36, 19.1%). Of the 189 patients, 33 adults (17.5%) were forwarded to a surgical subspecialist for repair. A head and neck injury was significantly more likely to be repaired by a surgical specialist (P = 0.011). The most common breed of dog identified was pit bull (n = 29, 47.5%). The majority of pit bull attacks involved the extremities (65.5%) compared to other breeds of dogs. Pit bull victims were noted to have a lower average annual income compared to other breed victims ($64,708 versus $75,004; P = 0.16). Annual income between intervention group and no intervention group was not significantly different (P = 0.26). This study is the 1st to perform a socioeconomic analysis in the adult dog-bite population and encourages the use of a surgical specialist in the setting of a head and neck bite.

Department of Plastic Surgery, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Christine J. Lee, MD, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, 200 South Manchester Ave, Suite 650, Orange, CA 92868; E-mail: cjlee3@uci.edu

Received 27 May, 2018

Accepted 18 November, 2018

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Ā© 2019 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.