A dog bite can lead to multiple complications, such as injury and legal complications. Fortunately, the right first aid measures can help with both issues.
Why Get First Aid for Your Dog Bite?
Adequate first aid has two main purposes.
1. Fast Recovery
The first few moments after your dog bite may determine your recovery speed. For example, adequate first aid measures may prevent infection, reduce the risk of complications, and help your wound heal fast. Fast recovery is good for:
- Your peace of mind
- Your pocket
- Your professional development (such as work or education)
- Your comfort
In short, expect a huge difference between a dog bite victim who cares for their wound and another who neglects their wound.
2. Damage Mitigation
Every personal injury plaintiff has a legal duty to mitigate damages. The defendant is only liable for the damages that stem directly from their action or inaction. As the victim, you are responsible for the damages of your own making. Expect the defendant to reduce their settlement offer if they suspect you failed in your damage mitigation duties.
Damage mitigation involves multiple approaches. One of them is to limit the injury since the injury's extent affects other damages. For example, an injury's aggravation can increase:
- The duration of missed workdays
- The amount of lost income
- The extent of pain and suffering
First-aid measures may reduce the injury's extent, thereby mitigating damages.
How Should You Provide First Aid?
First aid is only helpful if you do the right things. Otherwise, you might worsen your injury. Discover some helpful first aid tips.
Clean the Wound
Use soap and warm water to clean the wound. Ensure the water is clean – if you can drink the water, it's clean enough for your wound. Once you have cleaned the wound with soap and water, rinse it with running water for a few minutes.
Cleaning the wound removes foreign substances that might contaminate it. The foreign substances can come from different sources. Maybe:
- The dog had something in their mouth when they attacked you
- Your hand or clothing was dirty
- Flying debris has since gotten in the wound
You might not succeed in getting rid of all contaminants, but cleaning the wound will minimize them.
You should also stop the bleeding. The amount of bleeding determines whether you need to stop the bleeding or clean the wound first. For example, stop the bleeding first if the damage is extensive and the bleeding is serious.
Use these tips to stop the bleeding:
- Cover the wound with a clean cloth or towel.
- Apply a sterile bandage over the wound.
- Elevate the injured part of the body.
- Apply some gentle pressure on the wound using a clean cloth or towel.
These measures will stop the bleeding in most cases. Go to the emergency room if these measures don't help.
Apply Topical Antibiotic
Many dog bites heal without complications, especially bites from healthy dogs. The main risk is contamination from foreign substances, which is why you need to clean and cover up the wound. However, home cleaning alone might not prevent contamination. Some germs might be already in your wound by the time you clean it.
Thus, an antibiotic ointment may help. The topical antibiotic application is especially necessary if you can't see the doctor right away. Remember, first aid shouldn't replace professional medical care. The first aid reduces the risk of complications as you seek or wait for medical care.
Contact Palmetto Injury Lawyers LLC once you have received adequate medical care. We will review your case and determine the best way to pursue your damages.