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J Craniofac Surg. 2013 Mar;24(2):384-6. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31827fee33.

Facial dog bite injuries in children: treatment and outcome assessment.

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Indiana University Health North Hospital, Carmel, Indiana 46032, USA.


Dog bite injuries to a child's face are not an infrequent occurrence. They may require primary and revisional surgery. All result in permanent facial scars. This report describes the treatment and outcomes of dog bites of the face, scalp, and neck based on a case series of 107 children over a 10-year period.The average children's age was 5.9 years. In cases where the dog was identified (95%), it was known to the victim and their family. The events leading to the dog bite were categorized as provoked (77%) in the majority of the cases.The majority of wounds could be closed primarily without a significant risk of wound infection. Complex reconstructions were required in more severe cases. The majority of families (77%) opted for scar revision between 9 and 18 months after initial treatment to improve the aesthetic outcome.Lawsuit actions resulted in 39 of the cases making good documentation an essential part of treatment. Dogbite injuries to the face in children frequently require multiple scar revisions to obtain the best possible aesthetic outcome, and the family should be so counseled at the onset of treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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