Human Bites

A bite from another person may be mild to severe but the risk of infection is high as the human mouth contains many organisms. It could potentially transmit diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. A bite can also cause tendon, joint and nerve injuries.

A human bite may produce skin breaks, bleeding and bruising. If the wound becomes infected there will be pain, swelling, warmth and pus formation. In cases of tendon or nerve damage you will experience numbness, loss of sensation, or the inability to straighten or bend the affected finger.

The first step to take following a bite is to wash the area thoroughly with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment if available and cover the wound with a clean bandage. In case of profuse bleeding, apply pressure and elevate the area. It is necessary to visit your doctor within 24 hours if the skin is penetrated. Your doctor will examine the wound thoroughly looking for signs of infection, and nerve and tendon injuries. X-rays and blood tests may be ordered. You may be administered a tetanus injection and prescribed antibiotics. Surgery may be recommended in case of an infected tendon or joint.

Orthopedic Institute of the Bay Area: Dr. Alberto Bolanos
100 S San Mateo Dr
San Mateo, CA 94401

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