Public Health Agency of Canada
Public Health Agency of Canada
CHIRPP database, summary data for 1996, all ages
SUMMARY (1,237 records)
Injuries associated with dog bites and dog attacks were sustained most frequently by 5-9 year olds (28.5%). Of all injuries related to dog bites and dog attacks, 57.9% were to males. Injuries occurred most often in the summer, 37.7%, and most frequently between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m., (32.7%). Most injuries occurred at the victim's own home, 34.2% or other home, 30.3%. The majority of injuries occurred when the patient had no direct interaction with the dog, 28.9%. Injuries that required advice only or minor treatment accounted for 57.9% of patients, while 36.8% of patients needed medical follow-up after leaving the emergency department and 4.5% were admitted to hospital. Overall, the most frequent types of injury were bites, 73.1%, and the body part most often affected was the face, 40.5%.
In April 1998, a search of the CHIRPP database for the year 1996 (118,717 records) was conducted. No age restriction was specified in the search. Records were selected i) if they contained a factor code for dog (code 1301), mechanism for animal bite or sting (code 17) and nature of injury for bite (code 22) or ii) if the text fields contained the following strings: "DOG" or "CHIEN". Selected records were then scanned and eliminated if the injury was not directly related to a dog bite or dog attack. The total number of records identified was 1,237.
In 1996, dog bites and dog attacks represented 1.0% of all injuries in the CHIRPP database.
AGE AND SEX DISTRIBUTION OF INJURIES
* Of all
injuries in the CHIRPP database in 1996, 60.1% were sustained by males.
DAY DURING WHICH INJURY OCCURRED
SEASON DURING WHICH INJURY OCCURRED
WHERE THE INJURY OCCURRED
RELATIONSHIP OF VICTIM AND DOG
CIRCUMSTANCES AND FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO INJURY
Note: The following is a list of frequently occurring circumstances and factors in injuries related to dog bites and dog attacks. Each patient was assigned to a single category and percentages were based on 1,237 persons injured. Category assignment was based on the level of detail available in the description of the injury.
NATURE OF INJURY AND BODY PART INJURED
Up to three injuries may be specified for each record. One hundred and eighty-eight patients (15.2%) sustained more than one injury. 137 patients sustained two injuries (11.1%), and 51 sustained three injuries (4.1%). There was no injury detected in 5 patients.
TREATMENT PROVIDED IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
percentage of all CHIRPP injuries in 1996 that resulted in hospital admission
PROFILE OF PATIENTS ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL
Of the 56 patients admitted to hospital, 35 were males and 21 were females; 19 patients (33.9%) were aged 5-9 years, 17 (30.4%) were aged 2-4 years, 8 (14.3%) were aged 10-14 years, 6 (10.7%) were one year and under, 4 (7.1%) were 20 years or older, and 2 were aged 15-19 years.
The circumstances surrounding dog bites and dog attacks in admitted patients are outlined below: 13 patients were playing with their dog. Twelve patients had no direct interaction with a dog: 9 patients were playing by themselves, 2 patients were walking past a dog in its yard, and 1 patient was delivering newspapers. Nine patients were interacting normally with a dog: 6 patients were trying to pet a dog, 2 were handling the dog's food, and 1 patient was sitting next to his dog when he was attacked by another dog. Five patients were injured while restraining or disciplining their dog. Two patients were walking or rollerblading when they were chased and bitten by a dog. One patient was bitten when she tripped and startled a sleeping dog. One patient was bitten by an injured dog. One patient was attacked by a dog while being carried by his cousin. One patient was bitten when she tried to approach a female dog with pups. Finally, a patient was letting a cat upstairs and was bitten by her own dog. In 10 patients, the circumstances involving dog bites or attacks were not specified.
Bites were sustained by 42 patients (30 of the face or head, 7 of the hand, 2 of the finger or thumb, 1 of the abdomen, 1 of the thigh and 1 of the lower leg). Ten patients suffered cuts and lacerations (8 of the face, 1 of the shoulder and 1 to the abdomen). Two patients sustained eye injuries, 1 patient suffered bruising, and 1 sustained a muscle injury to the face.
SUGGESTED REFERENCE AND REPORTING INFORMATION
This report and data from it may be copied and circulated freely, provided that the source is acknowledged. The following citation is recommended:
Injury data were obtained from the database of the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), Public Health Agency of Canada.
If data from this report are included in any other document or publication, it should be noted, where appropriate, that the information comes from sixteen hospitals (ten pediatric and six general) across Canada.
For additional information on the CHIRPP program, please contact the Child Injury Section, Public Health Agency of Canada, by phone at (613) 941-9918 or by FAX at (613) 941-9927.