Admission rates for dog bites and strikes highest among young children with under-10s accounting for one in six admissions

Around one in six (16 per cent) of all hospital admissions for dog bite and strike injuries involves a child under 10, provisional data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show today.

And of the 1,040 admissions among under-10s for dog bites and strikes in the most recent year’s figures (May 2011 to April 2012), nearly half (47 per cent or 494 admissions) were admitted to the plastic surgery specialty and more than a quarter (27 per cent or 278 admissions) were admitted to the specialty that provides oral/facial surgery.

Hospital Episodes Statistics record 6,450 admissions for dog bites or strikes in the 12 months to April 2012, a 5.2 per cent rise on the previous 12 month period (6,130). During the same period, admissions for all conditions increased by 1.3 per cent.

Today’s provisional data shows that for dog bites and strikes admissions in the 12 months to April 2012:

Under-10s accounted for the highest rate of admissions by 10 year age group (17 per 100,000; 1,040 admissions).

For males, admission rates were broadly similar between the ages of 10 and 45 and then decreased with increasing age.  Compared to men, women’s admission rates were lower between the ages of 10 and 45 and then similar at older ages.

Plastic surgery was the treatment specialty with the highest rate of admissions for both children and adults under 70.  For under-10s, the rate of admission to the plastic surgery specialty was higher than for older ages.

Children had a higher rate of admission to an oral/facial surgery specialty than adults.

For adults there was a higher rate of admissions to the trauma and orthopaedic treatment specialty (three per 100,000 for adults aged 20 to 29 and four per 100,000 for adults aged 40 to 49 compared to one per 100,000 for under-10s).

Admissions rates were highest in the North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA), (21 per 100,000 of the population, or 551 in total), with this regional variation most prominent among younger age groups. Admission rates were lowest in London (seven per 100,000 of the population; 574 admissions in total) and the South East Coast (seven per 100,000 of the population; 299 admissions in total). Rates were similar for all age groups in London and South East Coast SHAs (all between six and eight admissions per 100,000).
                       
HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: “ Although always reliant on accurate recording, the HSCIC’s Hospital Episodes Statistics data is very rich in detail and offers the potential to analyse much more than just the number of admissions for a particular condition.

“Injuries sustained from dog strikes or bites resulted in nearly 6,500 hospital admissions in England last year – with children under 10 accounting for around one in every six admissions.

“Through further analysis, it is also possible to infer a likely distinction in the type of injuries sustained by child and adult victims of dog bites and strikes; with children having a higher rate of admission to the specialities that carry out plastic and specialist facial surgery.”

Today’s provisional data includes analysis about injuries inflicted by other mammals and non-venomous arthropods as well as general information on inpatient admissions and outpatient attendances. It is at: http://www.hesonline.nhs.uk/Ease/servlet/ContentServer?siteID=1937&categoryID=1132

The report only considers the more serious of cases that require a hospital admission – and does not include cases where the patient is dealt with solely in A&E.

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