Under 10s worst-affected by dog bites as hospital treatment rises

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NHS statistics have shown that hospital admissions in England for dog bites are over 5% higher than last year.

Dangerous Dog Bites

6,450 dog bite victims were treated in hospital during the 12 months to April 2012, compared with 6,130 in 2010-11, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

During the same period, hospital admissions for all conditions increased by 1.3%.

The most severely-affected among dog bite victims were children below 10yrs, who accounted for over 1,000 admissions. Three-quarters of the same group required surgery.

Of the 1,040 admissions for dog bites and strikes of children below 10, 278 were to the oral and facial surgery unit and 494 were for plastic surgery.

The chief executive of HSCIC, Tim Straughan, said the figures gave valuable insight into the type of injuries sustained, as well as victims' numbers and demographics.

"Through further analysis, it is also possible to infer a likely distinction in the type of injuries sustained by child and adult victims of dog bites and strikes," said Mr Straughan. "Children have a higher rate of admission to the specialities that carry out plastic and specialist facial surgery."

The HSCIC figures also showed that hospital admissions for men levelled-out between the ages of 10 and 45, decreasing as the men grew older. Admissions for women were lower between ages 10 and 45, then similar to those of older men.

Adults registered more admissions to trauma and orthopaedic treatment units: 3 per 100,000 for adults aged 20 to 29 and 4 per 100,000 for 40 to 49 year-olds. This compared with 1 per 100,000 for under-10s.

Per head of population, admissions were highest in the north-east of England (551 admissions in total) and lowest in London (574) and on the south-east coast (299).


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