A child with dog bites is treated at the Children's Hospital No 1 in HCM City. Photo courtesy of the hospital
HCM CITY — The Children's Hospital No 1 in HCM City has treated three children aged two or below with facial and head injuries from dog bites in the last one month, sparking serious concern, doctors said.
On May 14 L.N.D, a 17-month-old boy from Tiền Giang Province, was admitted to the hospital with multiple and extensive lesions on the face and head, Dr Nguyễn Minh Hằng, deputy head of the hospital’s odonto-stomatology department, said.
The boy had been bitten earlier that day by a neighbour’s dog while he was eating a sausage.
He received first aid at the Tiền Giang Province General Hospital before being transferred to the Children's Hospital No 1.
Doctors performed a three-and-a-half-hour surgery using seven-metre sutures to close the wounds, doctors said.
“I have never seen such severe injuries on a child’s face and head caused by dog bites,” Hằng told a press meeting on Tuesday.
Đ.Q.V, an 18-month-old boy from Bình Dương Province, was also admitted to the hospital with dog bite injuries on May 16.
A week earlier he had stepped on a sleeping dog’s tail and was bitten on his right cheek. He was immediately hospitalised at the Thủ Đức District Hospital for emergency treatment before being transferred to the Children’s Hospital due to infection of the wounds.
The third victim was L.N.G.H, a 19-month-old girl from Tây Ninh Province.
She was admitted with severe injuries on the right cheek on June 10 after being bitten when she ran close to a dog.
It took three hours for doctors to close her wounds with five-metre sutures.
Only one of the three dogs had been vaccinated, doctors said.
Nguyễn Văn Đẩu, head of the odonto-stomatology department, said while adult victims of dog bites are mostly injured in places like the hands, legs and buttocks, children are mostly injured in the face and head.
The trauma could have infectious, functional and aesthetic implications as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, he said.
The injuries are treated by suturing the lesions, antibiotic therapy and tetanus and anti-rabies shots.
Dog bites occur more often during school breaks when children are at home and adults do not keep an eye on them, he warned.
“Families with children should not have a dog in their house. Family dogs should be vaccinated and kept in separate areas from children”. — VNS