Human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites because of the types of bacteria and viruses contained in the human mouth. If someone cuts his or her knuckles on another person's teeth, as might happen in a fight, this is also considered a human bite.
If you sustain a human bite that breaks the skin:
- Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean, dry cloth.
- Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.
- Apply an antibiotic cream to prevent infection.
- Apply a clean bandage. Cover the affected area with a nonstick bandage.
- Seek emergency medical care.
If you haven't had a tetanus shot within five years, your doctor may recommend a booster. In this case, you should have the booster within 48 hours of the injury.
Feb. 28, 2012
- Mammalian bites. In: Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..00058-X--s0225&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&sid=1238259030&uniqId=304545582-5#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..00058-X--s0225. Accessed Nov. 15, 2011.
- Human bites. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00003. Accessed Nov. 15, 2011.
- Human and mammal bites. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec21/ch325/ch325c.html. Accessed Nov. 15, 2011.