What to do in the case of bite injuries?

When someone is bitten in Germany, usually by a dog, usually it hits a child and usually the child knows the dog. Often the dog even lives in his own household. Even harmless housemates occasionally snap. Especially if they are disturbed while eating, frightened or teased by a child, even though they actually want to have their rest. By the way, rarely but most dangerous are human bites because the human oral flora contains about 40 different bacteria.

First measures after a bite injury

If it comes to a child to a bite injury, you should always see a doctor, because the tetanus protection must be checked and, if necessary, be refreshed (take vaccination book!). Also important is the question of whether the animal is vaccinated against rabies.

In this case: If in doubt, the bitten child must be vaccinated against rabies. With a rapid vaccination, the body has enough time to produce antibodies, preventing the onset of the disease.

Warning: In rabies areas, a vaccine must be taken after every bite injury by an unknown or wild animal. Because against rabies there is no therapy and the disease ends, once it has broken out, always deadly!

By the way: With mouse bites a rabies vaccination is not necessary, since mice do not fall ill with rabies.

What to do with trivial injuries?

Fortunately, most bites are trivial and cause only skin abrasions and bruises; no bleeding occurs. The injury is cleaned with water and a wound disinfectant and then dried. But it should still be checked for bleeding and swelling.

How are open wounds treated?

With open bites, the uppermost skin layer is destroyed; besides, the wound is bleeding. Again, the wound should be immediately cleaned and covered with sterile compresses (car first aid kit) until examined by a doctor. Large bite marks must be covered and bandaged to the doctor's care; Arm and leg wounds should be wound loosely and stored high. If the bleeding is stronger, the bandages are wrapped tightly over the sterile compresses.

  • Bite channels, such as those found in cat bites, are not closed.
  • In addition, wounds older than twelve hours are treated openly.
  • Sew large, fresh wounds and bites on the face.

Unfortunately, bites are often inflamed. This is because many germs live in saliva. Children under the age of two or patients with bite injuries on their hands or in the eye area are therefore given preventive antibiotics. Even older bites (12 to 24 hours) are usually treated with antibiotics.

Cat bites

Cat bites are much less common than other bites; Only in 5 to 15 percent of all cases is a cat involved. Nevertheless, they represent a particular danger. Because the teeth of the cats are thin and sharp and therefore cause deep puncture wounds, which are easily infected. Therefore, an antibiotic is also given as a rule in cat bites. Often the joints and tendons are also injured in the cat bite.


The adder is the only serpent dangerous to humans that occurs in our latitudes. If a snake has bitten, the highest maxim is the immobilization of the affected body part. After all, serious poisoning occurs when the affected person still moves a lot after the bite. Forbidden because they damage the tissues are measures such as setting or ice compressing. Even the statements of the wound harms more than it is useful, because the poison is thereby distributed in the body. Among other things, it deals with an antiserum.

Attention: In severe forms (about every tenth Kreuzotterbiss) the limb swells and discolored. There is a lot of pain. In the worst case, it can lead to breathing difficulties and shock.

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