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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2009 Sep;30(3):223-30. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181a5e558.

Dog bite-related fatalities: a 15-year review of Kentucky medical examiner cases.

Author information

1
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Abstract

A human dog bite-related fatality generally refers to death proximately caused by trauma from a dog's teeth and jaws. According to The Humane Society of the United States, more than 300 individuals died of dog attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1996. Children <12 and elders >70 years represent the typical victims. Pit bull-type dogs, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds constitute the majority of canines implicated in these fatalities.This is a 15-year (1991-2005) retrospective review of dog bite-related fatalities undergoing medicolegal investigation in Kentucky. Of the 11 deaths, 10 consisted of multiple bite marks and blunt force injuries of the head and neck, trunk, and extremities. In 1 case, an asplenic victim's immediate cause of death was bacterial sepsis secondary to a dog bite. Individuals ranged between 14 months and 87 years; 7 (63.6%) were < or =6 years; 10 (90.9%) individuals were white, and 8 (72.7%) were male. Forensic odontological examinations were performed on the dogs in 4 cases. The requisite multidisciplinary investigation includes a detailed assessment of the scene, the victim, and dog or dogs suspected in the attack.

PMID:
19696575
DOI:
10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181a5e558
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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