THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week: 571.3 Guest: Dr. Ron Charles. Asst. Prof.Emergency Medicine, Southwestern Medical Cntr. Topic: Animal bites Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: Nice doggie...OW!....coming up...

SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association... fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Most of us have been bitten by an animal. Dr. Ron Charles of the Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas...

CHARLES: about 1 percent of patients come to the emergency department because of animal bites. Dog bites are the most common because they are the most common pet.

NEMA: Dr. Charles says, that for most times you're nipped, you can just clean the wound thoroughly, and dress it. But he says watch out if it's a cat bite....

CHARLES: ... their teeth are long and thin, and when they bite you, they produce a puncture wound injury. And at the bottom of the end of their teeth is where they will inoculate you with bacteria that will cause infection.

NEMA: A great number of cat bites need antibiotic attention... and the hand, with a poor blood supply and fewer infection fighters, is a vulnerable spot for a bite...

CHARLES: Infections of the hands are bad and cause irreparable damage to jobs and income.

NEMA: The worst bite? Humans. There are 64 potentially dangerous organisms in an animals mouth... more than 200 in ours. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.