Shark Bite (cont.)
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When to Seek Medical Care for Shark Bites
See a doctor for all but minor wounds. The doctor will evaluate the wound for significant damage, such as injury to blood vessels, nerves, or internal organs.
Shark Bite Exams and Tests
A person may not always know whether the wound came from a shark or another fish, such as a barracuda. Shark bites can be massive with significant bleeding and tissue loss.
Bites are often crescent-shaped or appear as a series of parallel cuts. Encounters may result in minor wounds, such as abrasions from a shark bump. Some victims have bone fractures (breaks). Others may carry debris, such as shark teeth fragments, that may have been introduced into the wounds during the attack.
Shark Bite and Shark Attack Treatment
All shark bites, even minor ones, require immediate medical attention. First aid to clean the wound and stop bleeding should be applied at the scene. Doctors may start the victim on a course of antibiotics to prevent infection. They also may suture the wounds and could attempt to repair deeper tissue damage if present.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/27/2016
Eric Mowatt-Larssen, MD
Paul Auerbach, MD
George Burgess, MSc
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