Wound Care After a Dog Bite

Proper wound care after a dog bite is crucial to stopping the course of infection from causing serious lifelong effects to the victim. A person who suffers personal injury from a dog bite due to the owner’s negligence may be able to recover compensation for their injuries. Read on for more information.

Proper Wound Care After a Dog Bite

Although seeking medical attention is a necessary course of action, there are some steps that victims of dog bites can take at the scene of the attack to reduce the risk of infection and other serious complications. According to information provided by the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center, dog bite victims should take the following steps immediately after being bit:

  • Wash the wound. Using a mild soap and warm tap water, wash the wound and run the water over it for five to ten minutes. Take care to be gentle when washing, as overly aggressive rubbing can actually exacerbate the severity of the wound.
  • Slow the bleeding using a clean cloth. Apply gentle but firm pressure to the wound area in order to slow the bleeding. Avoid excessive force when compressing the wound area.
  • Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream or gel. These materials are often included as part of a generic first aid kit and can serve as the first line of defense against infections caused by dog bite attacks.
  • Wrap the wound. Using a sterile bandage, wrap the wound tight enough to slow blood flow, but take care not to wrap too tightly. An overly tight bandage can cut off circulation to the affected area and cause further complications.
  • Contact a medical professional. Once the wound has been cleaned and bandaged, it is time to contact your local doctor or urgent care facility to schedule an appointment.
  • Change the bandage often. Once your doctor has examined the wound, keep the wound and surrounding area clean by repeating the first four steps multiple times per day as needed.
  • Monitor the wound and surrounding area for signs of infection. Common signs that a dog bite wound is becoming infected include redness, swelling, increased pain and sensitivity, and fever. If you experience any of these symptoms at any point in time after a dog bite attack, contact your doctor immediately.

Pursuing Compensation From the Dog Owner

Nevada state law follows what is commonly referred to as the “one bite” rule regarding personal injury caused by dog bites. This rule states that in the majority of cases where a dog attacks someone, the owner will only be held liable if the owner had reason to believe the dog was dangerous. This reasonable belief almost always stems from a previous incident where the dog bit someone, which is why the rule is called the one bite rule; after the first attack, owners become liable.

There are exceptions to the one bite rule, most often when the owner is acting negligently. An example would be a dog who is let off leash in an area where signs clearly state that all dogs need to be on a leash.

Getting Professional Counsel

For years, the attorneys at H&P Law have helped guide victims in Las Vegas and Nevada towards successful litigation. Contact H&P Law today to get the help and compensation you deserve.

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