Human biting more dangerous than animal, say plastic surgeons

Plastic surgeons report up to 20 cases a month of severe injury caused by biting.

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez who got a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez who got a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Tue, Apr 30, 2013, 06:00

said.

The Association of Plastic Surgeons (IAPS), whose members are most engaged in reconstruction, say biting injuries have led to the amputation of ears, noses and finger tips and are harder to treat than knife injuries.

The biting issue has come to the fore after Liverpool striker Luis Suarez got a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

IAPS president Dr Patricia Eadie said incidences of biting were directly related to intoxication and the busiest times were periods like New Year’s Eve and St Patrick’s Day when a lot of drink was consumed.

“At this point rational thinking has long been forgotten about, but people should remember that human bites can be more dangerous than most animal bites.

“There are germs in some human mouths that can cause infections that are hard to treat, but the biter can also be infected by his victim’s blood.”

A human bite can be worse than a knife attack, she explained, because a knife can leave a clean wound, but biting causes an avulsion, a medical term for internal damage to the blood vessels which can necessitate several operations.

“It’s almost always impossible to reattach the bitten body parts, leaving a very ugly injury, one that can cost the public exchequer up to €10,000 to repair as best as possible.”