Animal Bites

  We love our pets, but things can happen that could cause death or disabiity. As I enter this , I recall a story yesterday where a 10 year old boy in California died from a bite from his pet rat.  Remember all the hamsters and gerbils we had growing up.

 

   Because many animal bites are never reported, determining the exact incidence of bite wounds in the United States, let alone the world, is difficult. An estimated 74.8 million dogs lived in the United States in 2007; these account for an estimated 5 million dog bites per year, over which 800,000 require medical attention . Substantially more dog bites occur than cat bites. These two species account for the majority of (non-human) mammalian bite wounds encountered in the emergency department (ED).

   As previously stated, any infection can turn out to be the one that can be the cause of an over reaction of the body, called sepsis. We do know that it is the very young or old are more susceptible because of their  immune system challenges, but anyone is a potential victim.  

   If you Google,  Faces of Sepsis, you will, be lead to a few hundred stories of cause and effect of sepsis. Some survive and others not! Much depends on how early you recognize the early signs and get professional help. Some lose arms and legs and others suffer for years with cognitive problems. Thankfully most survive, but it could depend on whether the hospital has a functioning sepsis protocol likw is now happening in all NY hospitals.

 

  Dogs and Cats are not the only animals that are  common sources of infection:

Sepsis also could result from:

snake  and spider bites

infected tatoos and body piercings

small mammal bites; ie, pet rat

infected nail bed from a manicure

burns, etc.

 There is no end to the things that can break the skin barrier resulting in life threatening infections. Take no infection ot trauma lightly.

 

Be Concerned about Sepsis! Speak Up!     Monitor all infections on you and others and know the signs of sepsis ,  ( TRP ), like nurses do.  

   Nurses are the first line of defense so tell them  your concerns about sepsis. They are the key to early recognition and possibly your survival.  Your signs should be checked by every nurse at every shift change. Ask them to do so.

    Refer to your Sepsis Watch app. Ask about your temperature, respirations and breathing rate at a minimum. Ask about your blood pressure.     Ask if you are getting sepsis?  Ask if they have a sepsis protocol.  THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF!