Mammalian bites in children carry risk for infection, adverse cosmetic outcomes, and emotional distress. Emergency clinicians must carefully assess bite wounds and consider any risk factors for serious infection or other complications in order to make appropriate treatment decisions. This review provides evidence-based recommendations for the evaluation and treatment of mammalian bite wounds in children in the emergency department, including guidelines for empiric antibiotic therapy, wound management, and prophylaxis for infectious disease and bloodborne pathogens. The unique considerations in the management of human bite wounds are also discussed.
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Keywords: mammalian bites, dog bites, cat bites, human bites, rodent bites, monkey bites, fight bites, primary repair, puncture wound, Pasteurella, rabies, tetanus, PEP, post exposure prophylaxis, hepatitis, HIV
Mara Aloi, MD; Tarrell Coley, MD; Kara Iskyan Geren, MD, MPH; Melanie Hartenian, MD; Brian Rempe, MD
Troy Turner, MD, FRCPC
September 1, 2023
September 1, 2026   CME Information
4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, 4 ACEP Category I Credits, 4 AAP Prescribed Credits, 4 AOA Category 2-B Credits. Specialty CME Credits: Included as part of the 4 credits, this CME activity is eligible for 4 Trauma and .25 Pharmacology CME credits, subject to your state and institutional approval.