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Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0004-0584On-line version ISSN 1688-1249


CEDRES, Alejandra et al. Animal bites in children. What is the current situation in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Pereira Rossell Hospital?. Arch. Pediatr. Urug. [online]. 2018, vol.89, n.1, pp.15-20. ISSN 0004-0584.

Animal bites represent 1% of emergency visits. In most cases attacking animals are dogs, causing lesions of variable entity, infectious complications and sequelae.


to learn about the incidence of animal bites in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Pereira Rossell Hospital, the characteristics of this population, the kind of lesions and their initial management.


descriptive, retrospective study including patients in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Pereira Rossell Hospital who consulted for animal bites between 1/1/13 - 12/31/15. Source: computerized clinical registries. Epi-Info version 3.5.4. was used.


872 bitten children were included in the study (0.5% of total visits). Male 544 (62%). Median age was 6 years old (1 month -14 years), consultations in summer and spring 505 (58%). In 442 patients (50%) the animal was known. Attacker animal: dog 837 (96%). As to the site, face and scalp added up to 478 (55%); median age being 4.2 years old, and bites in the limbs added up to 327 (37.5%), multiple lesions were seen in 73 children (8.4%). Regarding severity: mild 790 (90%) and severe 7 (0.8%). Outcome: 802 children we discharged (92%), 63 were admitted (7.2%), admitted in the intensive care unit 7 (0.9%). No deaths we recorded. In 428 (49%) of cases suture was needed. Prophilactic antibiotic: 770 (88%). Aesthetic sequelae in 26 children (3%). Tetanus vaccine: 852 (98%). Notification to the Ministry of Health: 148 (17%).


this kind of lesions persist, similar to previous local studies. Younger children suffer more severe lesions affecting mostly their face and scalp. Bitten patients require a comprehensive approach: injury management, evaluation of zoonosis risk and prevention of complications. Adherence to antibiotic treatment was high. It is necessary to spread management protocols that include compulsory notification to authorities and to strengthen the prevention measures.

Keywords : Bites and stings; Wounds and injuries; Child.

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