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Dog bite hospital admissions up by 5%

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New figures show that there has been a 5% increase in the number of people in England admitted to hospital for dog bites.

A total of 6,450 people were admitted to hospital after being bitten by a dog in the 12 months to April, compared with 6,130 in the previous 12 months, the data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveals.

The breakdown by gender shows that admission rates for women were lower than those for men between the ages of 10 and 45 but similar for over-45s, as men’s admission rates were found to decrease with age.

The North East Strategic Health Authority reported the highest admission rate per head of population at a total of 551, while it was lowest in London at 574 and along the South East coast at 299.

Children under the age of 10 were the most likely group to be admitted to hospital for dog bites, accounting for around a sixth (1,040) of all admissions, with three-quarters needing surgery.

While 494 under-10s needed plastic surgery, 278 were referred to the oral and facial surgery unit.

The admission rate to the trauma and orthopaedic treatment unit was three per 100,000 for those aged between 20 and 29, four per 100,000 for adults between 40 and 49, and one per 100,000 for children under the age of 10.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I'm afraid these figures will carry on increasing as long as certain members of society view having aggressive breeds of dog as a "fashion accessory", much the same as they would choose a mobile 'phone. Attitudes need to change, with the Police and Magistrates taking a much tougher line with irresponsible owners. The Government need to look at this and increase penalties where appropriate.

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  • Democracy Rules | 14-Aug-2012 1:13 pm

    absolutely. it is appalling that dog owners have priority over the needs of individuals all of whom are potential victims and are at risk of injury in this way. Those who do get bitten are often blamed or treated in a very dismissive manner by the owners.

    of course, as usual, the only concern of the authorities will be the rising figures, their statistics and the cost to the services, and not the damage caused to the individuals involved.

    I recently read that dog licences are no longer required and have no idea why these were stopped. the government should be taking far stricter measures along with more up to date regulations such as collars with details of ownership, chips, and other means of identification as well as laws about how they are handled in public places such as keeping them on a lead and/or muzzled according to breed (rather than size), etc. there should also be a list of races of particularly dangerous dogs which are banned.

    in Switzerland obligatory dog handling courses have been introduced at around 6 months in an attempt to reduce the rising number of devastating accidents, especially those where young children have died following their injuries.

    any laws should be strictly enforced with severe penalties for those who fail to comply. our streets and public spaces should be free for everybody to enjoy without fear otherwise our human rights to freedom are not being met or respected.

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