A Pediatric Level III Trauma Center Experience With Dog Bite Injuries

Taylor Mattice, Abigail Schnaith, Henry W. Ortega, Bradley J Segura, Rahul Kaila, Iluonose Amoni, Ryan Shanley, Jeff Louie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Dog bite injuries often present to Emergency Departments (ED), and between 2001 and 2003, approximately 4.5 million adults and children were injured. Injuries may range from puncture wounds to deep tissue lacerations or avulsions. Deaths have been described. Our objective was to describe dog bite injuries, the overall location of injuries, and need for vaccination among children who presented to a Pediatric ED designated as a level III trauma center with a robust facial surgical infrastructure. This was a 6-year retrospective study. Charts were identified by International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes for lacerations or injuries secondary to animal bites and accessing the hospital’s trauma database. Variables abstracted were age, sex, type of injury, location, need for antibiotics, immunization states and requirement of tetanus or rabies vaccine, disposition from ED to the operating room, home, or any in-patient unit. We excluded children older than 17 years of age and children who had a post-bite injury infection or injury not initially managed in our facility or medical system. The final cohort consisted of 152 children. The median age was 52 months and age ranged from 2 to 215 months. Children with a single bite injury were older when compared with those with numerous injuries, 81 and 62 months of age, respectively. Among young children, 75% of injuries occurred above the neck and 15.1% were managed in the operating room. Twenty-four percent of children required either a tetanus or rabies vaccination. Most dog bite injuries occurred to facial structures. Comprehensive care of dog victims included awareness of both dog and injured child vaccination status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Pediatrics
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant UL1TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • dog bite
  • facial trauma
  • immunization status
  • rabies vaccine

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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