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Cheah AEJ, Chong AKS
Correspondence: Dr Andre Cheah, firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal bites to the hand caused by dogs, cats and humans are common conditions that general practitioners, emergency physicians and hand surgeons encounter in their practice. These bites are prone to infection and represent great cost to the patient in terms of time, money and disability, if not treated optimally from the outset. Other than lacerations to the skin, injuries to the tendons, nerves, bone and joints are commonplace given their proximity to the skin surface in the hand. Optimal treatment of acute animal bites to the hand should include clearance of contamination by surgical debridement, prophylactic antibiotics and tetanus toxoid, as well as staged reconstruction of all damaged tissue, including the skin, once the wound is deemed clean.
Keywords: cat bites, dog bites, human bites, treatment
Singapore Med J 2011; 52(10): 715-719