Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions about Human Bites


It seems that you found today’s post, well… biting.  Here’s your questions and answers about human bites:

1)   If human bites are so dangerous, why do women love Dracula so much?

  • Seriously?  Let’s just ascribe it to the neck being an erogenous zone and move on…

2)   What’s a Boxer’s Fracture?

  • A boxer’s fracture is a misnomer because boxers don’t get them.  This describes a fracture at the base of the small finger (5th metacarpal), often caused from poor form throwing a punch.  If you take one hand and move the pinky finger portion of the palm (the metacarpal bone), you’ll notice how movable it is (i.e. unstable) compared with the same efforts on the index and middle fingers at the level of the palm, which is what should deliver the blow.  A boxer’s fracture and a human bite together makes for a very bad day.

3)   Is a human’s mouth really dirtier than a goat’s mouth?

  • It’s correct to say the bacteria in a human’s mouth cause more disease.

4)   Is a bite the same as a puncture wound?

  • The difference between a puncture wound and a laceration is you can identify the bottom (base) of the wound in a laceration, and you can’t in a puncture wound.  Regarding bites: cats, snakes and the aforementioned Dracula are more likely to cause puncture wounds.  Puncture wounds may or may not be caused by a bite (e.g. knife wounds are punctures).

5)   I received a bite and didn’t get stitched up.  Why?

  • This could be for several reasons.  Puncture wounds don’t receive stitches because you don’t want to seal off the infection.  That’s a really good way to develop an abscess.
  • Sometimes we will opt for ‘delayed closure’, waiting 3-5 days to ensure no infection has occurred before placing stitches.
  • It’s really about the risk/benefit ratio.  A laceration to a face is more likely to be repaired because of the risk of disfigurement and scarring, plus the face is a relatively low infection area anyway.

6)   Why didn’t Dracula ever get Hepatitis or HIV?

  • Even though Dracula’s the undead, one would think he’d be the world’s single greatest transmitter of both HIV and the blood transmitted forms of Hepatitis.  HIV is viable for awhile in dead tissue, but it can’t multiply, which would explain why Dracula doesn’t show signs of the diseases.  On that note, I’m done.


Filed under Medical Treatment

3 responses to “Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions about Human Bites

  1. Darla

    What kinds of bacteria could be found in the mouth ? What is the most common one found in the mouth?

    • Hi, Darla. The bacteria to be concerned with are Eikenella and Fusobacterium. These are bacteria that don’t need oxygen to do its damage, so when bites are deeply seeded into tissues without much oxygen supply, they still survive and flourish.

  2. Pingback: Straight, No Chaser: The Week In Review and Your Take Home Messages | Straight, No Chaser