Hospital Admissions for Dog Bites Increase 86 Percent Between 1993 and 2008
According to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) , on average 866 people had to go to the emergency department daily and 26 people were admitted to the hospital daily for treatment of dog bites in 2008. That is an 86% increase in 16 years. The 2008 numbers are broken down into categories such as the age of the victim, the treatment necessary, and the hospital cost of treating dog bites. Seniors and young children were most likely to be hospitalized for a dog bite. For 65-84 year olds, there were 4.5 hospital stays per 100,000 people, for people age 85 and older, there were 4.2 stays per 100,000 and for children under 5 there were 4 stays per 100,000. Compared with urban residents, people in rural areas made 4 times as many emergency department visits for dog bites in 2008 (119 visits per 100,000 people versus 29 visits per 100,000 people). Rural residents also had 3 times as many hospital admissions (nearly 3 stays per 100,000 rural residents versus less than 1 stay per 100,000 urban residents). About 43 percent of people hospitalized for dog bites required treatment for skin and underlying tissue infection; 22 percent had wounds of the legs or arms; 10.5 percent had wounds of the head, neck and torso; and the remaining patients had problems ranging from bone fracture to blood poisoning. More than half (58 percent) of all people who were hospitalized required a procedure such as wound debridement, sutures, and skin grafts. Treating patients admitted for dog bites cost hospitals an average of $18,200 per patient and $54 million overall. Under New York State law, the liability of the owner of a domestic animal that causes harm is determined solely by the rule of strict liability for harm caused by a domestic animal the owner must either know or should have known of the animals vicious propensities. A leash law violation without actual or constructive knowledge of the animal's vicious propensities will not result in liability on the part of the dog owner. Petrone v. Fernandez, 12 N.Y.3d 546 (2009). The AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Stays involving Dog Bites. The report uses data from the agency's 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) and 1993-2008 data from its Nationwide Inpatient Sample. AHRQ is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you or someone close to you has been attacked by a dog or injured in an accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas. To learn more, watch our videos.