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Residents lack awareness on first-aid care after dog bite, says study

Out of total 100 cases, 96 per cent were of dog bites and legs (67%) were the most common biting site.

Written by TANBIR DHALIWAL | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 8, 2015 5:31:36 am
Dog bite, first-aid care, Chandigarh news A total of 100 animal (dog, cat, monkey and rat) bite victims were interviewed with 60 cases from ARC Sector 19 and 40 cases from ARC Sector 38.

Most residents of Chandigarh, which reports nearly 27 animal bites a day, are totally unaware of first-aid practices to clean the wound, says a study.  In the past few months, nearly 98 per cent of animal bite cases reached anti-rabies clinics without washing the wounds, the first step advised by doctors.

A study, ‘Situational analysis of management and control of animal bite cases in Chandigarh,’ by Dr Amudeep Singh of Centre for Public Health, Panjab University, reveals that there is no facility for wound washing at dispensaries. And due to little awareness, people apply chilli, salt and other home-based spices on the wound.

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The study was conducted at the Anti-Rabies Centres in Sector 19 and Sector 38, from January to April 2015. According to experts, wound cleansing under a running tap for nearly 10 minutes can decrease up to 80 per cent chance of rabies.

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A total of 100 animal (dog, cat, monkey and rat) bite victims  were interviewed with 60 cases from ARC Sector 19 and 40 cases from ARC Sector 38. Out of total 100 cases, 96 per cent were of dog bites and legs (67%) were the most common biting site. Further, 71per cent were Category III bites.

“Wound washing is the first step in providing care to an animal bite victim. It is of great importance as it can decrease up to 80 per cent chance of rabies if practiced in an ideal manner,” said Dr Amudeep Singh.

“The wound was washed only in 2per centcases that reached the Anti-Rabies Centres,” said Dr Amudeep. The study also point towards non-administration of serum to some Category III victims. “Category III victims require serum within 24 hours of the bite. However, in the current study, it was seen that out of 71 Category III bite victims, serum was given to only 43 (60%) cases. Rest 40per cent (27) victims were not given serum administration,” says the report. According to the researcher, the reason was non-availability of equine serum at the clinics for nearly one month.

“A safe wound cleansing area should be established in all ARCs. Training of staff in local treatment of wound including wound washing must be done. The general public must also be made aware of them as well as other preventive measures of rabies,” says the study. There were a total of 9,973 animal bite cases that reached the two ARCs in 2014, the report said.

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