At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- List some ways to avoid being bitten and scratched by small animals, cats, dogs, livestock, large predatory animals, and humans
- Explain appropriate first aid for small animal, cat, dog, livestock, large predatory animal, and human bites and scratches
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What kinds of animals might bite or scratch a person at work?
Many kinds, including small animals such as squirrels; larger animals, including pets, such as dogs; large predatory animals, such as bears; and even people.
Does a minor animal bite or scratch pose a health threat?
Yes, even if a scratch is minor, first aid should be applied and seeing a doctor may be appropriate. These bites and scratches can lead to infections and disease (such as rabies). .
Is first aid enough, or is it necessary to see a doctor?
There may be times when it's necessary or very wise to see a doctor in addition to receiving first aid. It's better to be safe instead of sorry.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
As with most injuries and illnesses, the best way to deal with animal and human bites is to avoid getting them. Staying clear of animals and not handling or cornering them will go a long way in helping you do this. In many cases, first aid for a minor wound will include cleaning the wound area with antibacterial soap and warm water, applying antibiotic ointment, and bandaging the area if necessary. More serious wounds will call for more first aid measures. In addition, however, it's often necessary to get the person to additional medical care. This is because the wound can often get infected, or the animal may have a potentially fatal disease such as rabies. Remember that even human bites carry with them a risk of infection from germs in the mouth.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- Mayo Clinic – www.mayoclinic.org
- Mayo Clinic First Aid for Animal Bites webpage: http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-animal-bites/basics/ART-20056591
- WebMD – www.webmd.com
- WebMD First Aid and Emergencies - http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/animal-and-human-bites-topic-overview
- US National Library of Medicine (NLM) – www.nlm.nih.gov
- NLM MedlinePlus Health Topics - https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/animalbites.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – www.cdc.gov
- CDC Index - http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html
- Medscape – www.medscape.com
- Medscape Articles - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/739023_5