Citing research performed in response to a recent mauling of a boy, Arizona’s top health official has concluded the number of cases of people treated for dog bites in the state has risen dramatically over the last few years.
Will Humble, the State Department of Health Services director was approached by Dr. Bentley Bobrow, the department’s EMS medical director, after Bobrow helped treat the badly injured 4-year-old boy.
“He said there was this kid that came in, and (the boy) was completely torn apart. It was so sad to see,” said Humble, who called dog bites a “public health issue.”
Humble Asks For Dog Bite Information
The discussion between Bobrow and Humble led Humble to ask a team of his employees to gather vital statistics on emergency room visits and overnight hospitalizations that occurred as a result of injuries sustained from severe dog bites.
The report generated from that research concluded that incidents requiring hospitalization have more than doubled in the last five years.
“I was really surprised to see how big of an increase we’ve seen in the severe dog bite injuries,” Humble said. “While emergency room visits stayed relatively flat, there was a 139 percent increase in patients requiring at least one night of hospital stay.”
Dog Bite Hospitalizations ****
Agency researchers calculated that between 2008 and 2012, 2,358 people were hospitalized. Humble said that in the same period, 34,151 emergency room visits involving bites from dogs were documented. In total, the health care costs involved in all the incidents amounted to $55 million.
More than 70 percent of the severe dog bites occurred in the home. A majority of them were homes with children. “I would have expected more of the dog bites to happen other places - streets, parks,” Humble said.
An Important Reminder for Pet Owners
The report serves as an important reminder that dog owners should be aware of how their pets behave around others, especially children. “No matter who you are or who your pet is, there’s a level of responsibility,” Humble said. “You owe it to yourself, to your family and to your community to be a responsible dog owner.”
If you’re involved in a dog bite accident, you need the advice of expert dog bite accident attorneys such as those at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.
Source: azfamily.com, Sharp rise in dog bite cases in Arizona, March 31, 2014
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