Human Bite

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A human bite is any wound that you get from coming into contact with a person's teeth. The wound may be deep and cause injury to bones, muscles, and other body parts. Human bites are often more serious than animal bites. Wounds are more likely to become infected because of the germs in a person's mouth.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Rest:

Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed. When sitting or lying, raise the your wounded area above your heart. This helps decrease swelling. You may put pillows under an injured leg when lying in bed.

Wear a splint or sling:

Your primary healthcare provider may want you to limit moving your injured area for some time. A sling or splint may be used to support or elevate your injured area and make you more comfortable. Ask for more information on using a splint or sling.

Wound care:

  • Wash your hands before and after you care for your wound to prevent infection.

  • Clean your wound with mild soap and water, and pat dry. Do this as often as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. If you cannot reach the wound, have someone help you.

  • Carefully check the wound and the area around it. Look for any swelling, redness, or fluid oozing out of it. If there is bleeding, you may apply gentle pressure.

  • Cover your wound with a layer of clean gauze bandage. If the bandage should be wrapped around your arm or leg, wrap it snugly but not too tight. It is too tight if you feel tingling or lose feeling in that area.

  • Keep the bandage clean and dry.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.

  • You have a skin rash, itching, or swelling after taking your medicine.

  • You have numbness or tingling in the area of the bite.

  • You have pain or problems moving the injured area or get tender lumps in the groin or armpits.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have trouble swallowing and your jaw and neck are stiff.

  • You have trouble talking, walking, or breathing.

  • You have increased redness, numbness, or swelling in the bitten area.

  • Your wound does not stop bleeding even after you apply pressure.

  • Your pain is the same or worse even after taking medicine.

  • Your wound or bandage has pus or a bad smell, even if you clean it every day.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Human Bite (Discharge Care)

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