Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Human bites can be either accidental or intentional.
Intentional bite injury: This generally happens during fights and can result in a
wide range of injuries from minor bruising to partial loss of body parts (for example, ears or nose). Unfortunately, this can also be an injury seen in
child abuse, sexual abuse,
and rarely, self-mutilation.
Seemingly intentional bites: Some bites may not be easy to classify
as intentional because there is not a conscious decision on the part of the
biter. Two of the most frequent situations are among very young children (often a new addition to the household is the recipient
of a bite from a sibling), and among people who are mentally handicapped.
Closed fist injuries: This bite occurs when someone punches another person in the mouth or, occasionally, accidentally strikes another in the mouth during sports or horseplay. These bites can cause damaging hand injuries
and can be very serious if not properly treated. It is important to share this
information with your health care practitioner as a cut secondary to contact
with a person's mouth is treated significantly different from a cut due to a
sharp surface or knife.
Accidental bites: Typical head or other body part bites occur when
clashing with another person's tooth. These can be minor or, in the case of a
head wound in young children, very serious.
"I didn't know it was a bite!" category: Yes, we frequently run the risk of problems from doing things to ourselves that technically qualify as bites. For example, it is not a good idea to bite your nails because this can lead to an infection known as paronychia or a
hangnail. Similarly, it is almost a reflex to suck on wounds or to kiss a child's boo-boo, but if you introduce mouth bacteria,
it could lead to problems such as an infection.
Love bites (for example, hickeys): These qualify as a human bite. However, if bruising is the only sign with no skin break, these are largely harmless. Other "love bites" cross the line into intentionally inflicted wounds and may be more serious.
Any bite marks in the genital area in children need to be evaluated as a
possible sign of abuse.