Current Management of Human Bites

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Abstract

Human bites should be considered dangerous injuries with potentially serious complications. Their characteristics vary from an uninfected abrasion to a serious infection such as cellulitis or osteomyelitis. An estimated 10% of the injuries become infected; suspected pathogens include oral and skin flora. Management consists of history and examination, wound care, surgical intervention if necessary, assessment of risk of disease transmission, and appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis or treatment. The best choice for oral or intravenous antibiotic therapy remains the combination of a β-lactam antibiotic with a β-lactamase inhibitor. Among the most serious human bites are clenched fist injuries, which often require surgical intervention and intravenous antibiotic therapy.

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