On May 19th, 2019, a volunteer brought her two dogs to the Wayside Elementary School in Bakersfield. What should have been a routine and fun experience for the kids as the volunteer reader conveyed a story to them, quickly turned into chaos. An 8-year-old student was attacked by one of these dogs, sustaining severe injuries to her face that will like result in scarring and lifelong vision problems.
Bakersfield is not unique in that a dog bite occasionally happens. However, most of these dog bite incidents happen between a dog and their owner when playtime gets too rough or as they are trying to separate their pet from another who might be a bit more violent.
If you sustain a dog bite from a pet that isn’t yours in Bakersfield, it’s vital to care for the would properly to prevent infection. You should also speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Bakersfield to determine if medical bills and other expenses may be covered through personal injury claim compensation.
Immediately after receiving the dog bite, it’s important to clean it. The jagged wounds left by a dog’s teeth are a haven for bacteria, especially transferred from the dog’s mouth to the wound. To flush any debris and hopefully all of the bacteria that may be inside, use gentle compression to force the wound to bleed. The flow should carry out most of any infection-causing bacteria.
After that, you will need to clean the wound thoroughly with warm water and mild soap. If you have antibacterial soap on hand, this will work the best. Be sure you clean it as well as possible but also be gentle so the wound isn’t further aggravated.
Slow the Bleeding
Once clean, apply a thick, clean towel with moderate compression to help slow the bleeding. Even if the towel becomes red, leave it in place until you are certain the bleeding has slowed to a controllable level. If the bleeding is severe and you aren’t able to slow it down within 5 to 7 minutes, go to the closest Emergency Department or call an ambulance for help.
Bandaging a Dog Bite
When the bleeding has slowed, place a dry, non-stick gauze pad over the wound and wrap it with more moderate compression. If the wrap is too tight, it may cause circulation problems. If the area with the wound cannot be wrapped, continue to hold the gauze in place or tape it in place to keep it clean.
See a Physician
It’s recommended to see a physician within 8 hours of receiving a dog bite. Depending on the dog and the severity of the wound, stitches may be necessary and you might also need to receive strong antibiotic treatment to help prevent severe infection. If you aren’t able to see your primary care physician quickly, you should visit a local Bakersfield Emergency Department or even a local urgent care facility to have it treated.
File a Report in Bakersfield
When a dog bite happens in Bakersfield and the dog does not belong to you, it’s important to file a report with the Kern County Animal Services Department. When this happens, they may be able to find the dog and locate their owner to look at what vaccinations the dog has had or hasn’t had. Knowing this will help your physician treat the dog bite wound properly and allow them to take any precautions to keep the wound from worsening.
A dog bite can be a serious injury, especially if it hasn’t been taken care of properly right away. Even with treatment, it can still lead to scarring or infection that will need long-term treatment. A dog attack can also lead to anxiety and a fear of dogs, sometimes caused by PTSD. If you were bitten by a dog in Bakersfield, call Martin Gasparian to set up a free consultation to discuss the situation at (559) 203-3333. Compensation may be possible for your injuries.