Is washing of animal bite wound(s) essential?

The risk of rabies reduces by about 50% by just washing of wounds and application of antiseptics.

The maximum benefit of the wound washing is obtained when the fresh wound is cleaned immediately. It is important to remove saliva containing rabies virus at the site of bite by physical or chemical means. This can be done by prompt and gentle thorough washing with ordinary soap or detergent and flushing the wound with running tap water for at least 15 minutes.

Washing of the wound must be done as long as the wound is raw irrespective of the time elapsed since the exposure. Care must be taken not to disturb the scab, if formed.

After washing with water and soap, disinfectants like Povidone Iodine or Surgical Spirit must be applied.

In extraneous circumstances, other alcoholic (>40%) preparations like Rum, Whisky or aftershave lotion may be applied on the wound. If soap or antiviral agent is not available, the wound should be thoroughly washed with water.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *