Human Bites (cont.)
Human Bites Self-Care at Home
First aid for a bite usually just involves cleaning the area and applying ice for pain relief. Bites generally do not bleed a large amount, but, if they do, put direct pressure on the area for 10 minutes, which should stop the bleeding. Elevation of the injured area above the level of the heart may also help stop bleeding and prevent swelling of the wound.
- Save all tissue parts: Make sure any tissue that is bitten off is brought to the hospital's emergency department. If the doctor cannot reattach it, the hospital will dispose of it. If the patient needs to travel a distance to get medical care, place the part in a plastic bag in ice water (not directly on ice).
- Keep cleaning simple: Run large amounts of cool clean water over the wound. A mild soap is fine, but do not pour alcohol or peroxide on an open wound because this can injure the tissue. A good rule of cleaning is that anything put on a wound that causes burning or increased pain probably does more harm than good.
- Do not use butter or home remedies. It is best to leave the wound uncovered until checked by a doctor.
- Apply ice for pain relief: Wrap some ice in a towel and apply it to the area. This will ease the pain and help keep the swelling down. Do not apply ice directly on the skin because it may freeze the skin. Some doctor's recommend about 15 minute intervals of ice wrap followed by about 15 minutes of ice wrap off. This sequence is repeated until the patient is evaluated by medical personnel.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/17/2015
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