By Mike Mikkelsen Lorenzen, MD and Magnus Balslev Avnstorp, MD
People often present to the emergency department with lacerations due to animal bites. Depending on the site of injury different courses of action can be taken. As previously mentioned, an objective examination is performed prior to the treatment of the wound.
Facial lacerations after an animal bite
To be thoroughly revised and cleaned with saline water in order to reduce contamination and bacterial load. Due to the cosmetic outcome, lacerations in the face are to be sutured directly as soon as possible after the injury.
Lacerations not including the facial area
In general it is recommended to revise and thoroughly clean such defects. Depending on the depth, the lacerations are left open to ensure drainage, however with deeper defects a few approximation defects can be performed as long as drainage is secured. Defects can be closed by secondary intent after 5-6 days if needed and if infections has not occured.
Patients are prescribed Penicillin 1 million international units 3 times a day for 7 days. In case of penicillin allergy a one time dose of Ceftriaxon 250 mg is administered intravenously.
Furthermore, the patients tetanus status is asked, and if unavaiable or out of date, a tetanus booster shot is administered.