Dog bite A&E admissions are increasing

Sonnie Harker-Greenall, nine, who was savaged by a dog
Sonnie Harker-Greenall, nine, who was savaged by a dog

THE amount of people who have been bitten by dogs attending Accident and Emergency departments has risen according to the latest figures.

Following the shocking attack on nine-year-old Sonnie Harker-Greenall from Winstanley, who was bitten 12 times by a Staffordshire bull terrier and underwent emergency facial surgery, the news that attacks are on the rise will come as a worrying reminder of the problem.

The dog in question was destroyed by police.

Hospital admissions for dog bites have risen in England by more than five per cent on last year.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that 6,450 people were admitted during the 12 months to April this year, compared with 6,130 the previous year. The worst-affected group was children aged under 10, who accounted for more than 1,000 admissions.

Three-quarters of those children needed surgery.

Of the 1,040 admissions among children aged under 10 for dog bites and strikes, 494 admissions were for plastic surgery and 278 were to the oral and facial surgery unit.

Admission rates per head of population were highest in the North East Strategic Health Authority (551 admissions in total) and lowest in London (574) and the South East Coast (299).

HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said the data provided an insight into the injuries sustained too.

He said: “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.”

Although the North West has a lower number of incidents than other parts of the country, there have still been many examples of dogs attacking people.

In August last year, 31-year-old Karren Greaves, of Withington, Manchester, suffered serious injury trying to fend off a dog that killed her pet dog and tried to maul her children.

In January this year a 10-year-old boy was savaged by a dog as he played in a park in Miles Platting, Manchester, and was scarred for life.