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Dog Attack Hospital Admissions Higher in More Deprived Areas

30 April 2014

ANALYSIS - Hospital admissions for dog attacks amongst people living in the most deprived areas of England are three times as high as in the least deprived areas, new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show, writes Gemma Hyland.

In the 12 months to January 2014, the rate for hospital admissions for dog bites and strikes for people living in the 10 per cent most deprived areas was 24.1 per 100,000 (1,240 admissions), compared to an admission rate of 8.1 per 100,000 (428 admissions) in the 10 per cent least deprived areas, according to the statistics released by HSCIC.

The figures show an increase in hospital admissions caused by dogs and other mammals - such as horses, foxes and cats.

In the 12 months to January 2014 there were 9,710 hospital admissions - an increase of seven per cent on the previous 12 month period when there were 9,080 admissions.

Of these, dog bites and strikes accounted for 6,740 admissions - an increase of six per cent from the 6,370 admissions in the previous 12 month period. Bites and strikes by other mammals accounted for 2,970 admissions, a 10 per cent increase from the 2,700 admissions in the previous 12 months.

Focussing on dog bites, today's report also shows that in the 12 months to January 2014:

  • Admissions were highest in the summer months.
  • The age group with the highest number of admissions was 0-9 year olds. Admission rates per 100,000 of the population for males in their twenties and thirties were higher than for females, but this is reversed for ages over 40 where there was a higher rate of female admissions for all age groups except 50-59 year olds where admissions were similar.
  • Overall, the most common diagnosis was an open wound of the wrist or hand. However, children suffered more injuries to their head than any other age group.
  • Plastic surgery was the most common treatment speciality for all age groups.

Regionally, the highest rates of admissions for dog bites and strikes were in Merseyside (281 admissions, 23.6 per 100,000 population), Durham, Darlington and Tees (269 admissions, 22.8 per 100,000), and West Yorkshire (498 admissions, 21.7 per 100,000).

Admissions were lowest in Kent and Medway (92 admissions, 5.3 per 100,000 population), Surrey and Sussex (186 admissions, 6.9 per 100,000) and London (634 admissions, 7.6 per 100,000.

Kingsley Manning, Chair of the HSCIC, said: "The report shows that hospital admissions for bites and strikes by dogs are three times as high in the most deprived areas of England as in the least deprived areas. This is fascinating new data that we haven't produced before.

"Our statistics also show that hospitals have dealt with more admissions for bites and strikes by mammals compared to last year.

"We know that dog bite rates are particularly high among young children. As we head towards the summer months, when admission rates for dog bites are at their highest, these trends may be worth further study by healthcare organisations and public sector bodies."

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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