What you should know
Bites may be human or animal. Both can cause infections due to the large number of germs contained in saliva. Infections can develop within a few hours and can spread deeply very quickly.
Human bites generally occur during fights or dangerous games, or out of habit.
A human bite may transmit tetanus or the hepatitis C virus.
Animal bites frequently occur when trying to separate two animals that are fighting (dogs or cats) or when children approach an animal too suddenly or attempt to play with it.
The risk of rabies infection will depend on the geographical region and the type of animal (domestic, imported or wild).
A bite will often cause multiple wounds which appear relatively minor.
What you should do
Rinse the wound in physiological saline only, or wash with soap and tap water
Do not use coloured antiseptics
Apply a moderate pressure dressing to the wound and elevate the limb if bleeding.
Ensure you keep an empty stomach (do not eat or drink)
Refrain from smoking
Consult your GP or a hand surgeon.
Check the status of your tetanus vaccination
What you should not do
Neglect even a minor hand wound