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A cat bite can be a catastophic injury

When most people think of animal bites, they think of dog bites. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic might change that thinking a little. The study says that a hospital stay might result from a cat bite on the hand. According to the study, one out of three people who got treatment for a cat bite on the hand were hospitalized.

The data was gathered from 193 patients who were treated for a cat bite to the hand from January of 2009 through 2011. Of the patients who were hospitalized, two-thirds had surgery to flush out infection.

One of the researchers said that a cat's fangs can push bacteria deep into the tissue and cause infection. He went on to say that because cat bites are so small, people tend to ignore them. He said that these bites can lead to multiple hospitalizations, antibiotics and surgery.

The study found that bites to any joint or the wrist had a higher risk of hospitalization. In the patients studied, administering antibiotics failed in 21 cases.

One woman waited one week to go to the hospital after her cat bit her. By the time she sought treatment, she couldn't move her wrist. The infection from the bite reached her tendon. She said that bite on her hand resulted in $150,000 in medical bills and eight weeks of being in and out of the hospital.

Seeking medical attention after an animal attack is important to help minimize the chance of infection. If you have been the victim of a cat bite from a cat that isn't your own, you might have the right to seek compensation for costs associated with the bite.

Source: USA Today, "A cat bite can turn into a hospital stay, study says" Mary Bowerman, Feb. 09, 2014

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