Attacked by shark, stitches his own wound and goes for a beer

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Duke Dive Medicine

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...and by closing the wound he locked in whatever bugs were living in that shark's mouth and/or the water. Makes for a good story, but file it under the "Don't try this at home" department!

Best regards,
DDM
 

Jeff Scott

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...and by closing the wound he locked in whatever bugs were living in that shark's mouth and/or the water. Makes for a good story, but file it under the "Don't try this at home" department!

Best regards,
DDM

Just curious here. I understand whats going on with closing the wound without copious irrigation and him setting himself up for secondary infection. But is it common practice such as with dog bites to allow shark bites to heal by granulation?
 

Tigerman

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The guy according to the news article had medical training, so he probably had SOME idea of what he was doing stitching it up and going to the bar - as in he knew he wouldnt die from it...
 

Jeff Scott

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That stuff only looks good in the movies...ie First Blood. There is a reason why DDM said what they did. Now I am not a physician nor have I played one on TV....BUT...the whole issue here is the lack of aseptic technique in treating the wound. As a diver/dive buddy/first responder all you would basically due is provide direct pressure, elevation, evacuate ASAP, high flow 02 depending on amount of hemorrhage, and treat for shock. Once it leaves the scene of the accident it gets different with the medical folks. Commonly wounds have to be closed within X hours of injury or they are left open or packed. In my time as an Army medic and I have done sutures several times and also treated countless boo boos...dog bites were never closed due to the bacteria/cooties in their mouth. People coming into the ER with a dog bite would get irrigated with a couple of liters of normal saline w a 14g cath and pressure infuser, the wound would be scrubbed with betadine, blunt debridement PRN , and dressings applied while we maintained as much of a sterile field as possible...not to mention the gram on Ancef that was hung while all this was going on and the 10 days of oral antibiotics to take home as well as all the follow up wound checks. If this person would have presented in our ER the wound would have been re-opened and the cleansing that I just described would have taken place. Animals, including humans and in my experience especially cats have very nasty mouths that can cause bad infections. This is basically describing puncture wounds vs having a chunk missing and major vessel damage. That's where the surgeons take over.

I have never encountered a shark bite nor do I ever hope to, but my question, just out of curiosity, is directed at DDM or any physician/mid-level practitioner who cares to jump in. Are shark bites commonly closed and what would be an appropriate treatment regimen? Would it be treated similar to a dog bite?
 

Wingy

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The guy is a doctor - and a kiwi - so technically not from down under.well NZ is our far eastern states :p
 

Dr. Lecter

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...and by closing the wound he locked in whatever bugs were living in that shark's mouth and/or the water. Makes for a good story, but file it under the "Don't try this at home" department!

Best regards,
DDM

Between the time to bleed clean and the long immersion in open ocean, I have a hard time believing there was much in those wounds for a good antiseptic to clean out. Regardless, anyone who keeps a proper suture kit in their car probably has some betadine to dump on it before getting down to business.
 

Duke Dive Medicine

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Between the time to bleed clean and the long immersion in open ocean, I have a hard time believing there was much in those wounds for a good antiseptic to clean out. Regardless, anyone who keeps a proper suture kit in their car probably has some betadine to dump on it before getting down to business.

There are plenty of bugs in the open ocean too. Vibrio comes to mind right away. There are also less virulent bacteria that, sutured up in a wound, can nevertheless cause havoc. A long soak in salt water doesn't necessarily wash out bacteria that could have been driven deep into the wound by a tooth. Even dumping betadine on it is no guarantee. At the very least I hope he sutured it partly closed so it could drain, then prescribed himself a course of prophylactic antibiotics. I say again, this makes for a good story, but don't try it at home.

Best regards,
DDM
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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