Emergency department presentations with mammalian bite injuries: Risk factors for admission and surgery

Jeannette WC Ting, Brian Yin Ting Yue, Howard Ho Fung Tang, Alexandra Rizzitelli, Ramin Shayan, Frank Raiola, Warren M. Rozen, David Hunter-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The incidence of animal bite injuries in Australia is high. There is currently no established method for reliably predicting whether a patient with a bite injury will require admission to hospital or surgery. 

Design: A retrospective audit of mammalian bite injuries at seven major hospitals in Melbourne, Victoria, over a 2-year period. The associations between each predictor and outcome of interest were analysed with univariate and multiple regression analyses. 

Setting: Seven major hospitals in Melbourne, Victoria: the Alfred Hospital, Austin Hospital, Frankston Hospital, Monash Medical Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and Western Hospital. 

Participants: Patients presenting to emergency departments with mammalian bite injuries. 

Main outcome measures: Hospital admission, intravenous antibiotic therapy, surgery, reoperation, readmission. 

Results: We identified 717 mammalian bite injuries. The mean age of the patients was 36.5 years (median, 34 years; range, 0-88 years), with an equal number of males and females. The overall rate of hospital admission was 50.8%, and the mean length of stay was 2.7 days. Intravenous antibiotics were administered in 46% of cases; surgery was undertaken in 43.1% of cases. The re-operation rate was 4.5%, the re-admission rate was 3%. 

Conclusions: Our study provides a detailed epidemiological analysis of animal bite injuries at seven major hospitals in Victoria. Risk factors for hospitalisation and surgery may assist in identifying patients who require admission and surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
Number of pages7
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016

Cite this