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First Aid & Emergencies

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Human Bites Treatment

Call 911 if:

  • A human bite causes serious injury.
  • The wound will not stop bleeding after 10 minutes of firm pressure.
  • Blood spurts from the wound.

  • A human bite causes serious injury.
  • The wound will not stop bleeding after 10 minutes of firm pressure.
  • Blood spurts from the wound.

1. Stop Bleeding

  • Apply firm, direct pressure with sterile gauze or clean cloth until bleeding stops.

2. Clean and Protect

  • Clean the wound with mild soap and water. Rinse for several minutes under running water.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Watch for signs of infection such as redness, pain, swelling, or pus. If you see them, get medical help right away.

3. Get Medical Help

  • See a health care provider about any human bite because there is a high risk of infection. Even minor bites can easily become infected.
  • Tell the health care provider if the person has stiffness, lack of mobility, or numbness in the area. There may be damage to tendons or nerves.
  • Deeper bite wounds may require stitches.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on January 17, 2016

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