Clinical update

Human and animal bites: assessment, treatment and when to use antimicrobials

Advice from NICE on how to treat patients with bite wounds

Advice from NICE on how to treat patients with bite wounds

Essential information

Human and animal bites are an infection risk and are seen relatively frequently in emergency departments (EDs) and primary care. Dog and human bites are the most common bites encountered in EDs in the UK and can cause significant tissue damage.

What’s new?

Guidance on treating and assessing human and animal bites has been published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) .

It sets out when antibiotic prophylaxis is needed, and which antibiotics should be prescribed. Antibiotics are generally not required when the bite has not broken the skin, however different approaches are needed to manage


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