46 Deaths & Over One-Half a Million Attacks Resulting in Emergency Room Treatment
DogsBite.org - Between January 2006 and September 2008, pit bulls have killed 46 Americans. While there is no reliable source of data on how many Americans may have suffered less than fatal injuries from pit bulls, some other data may shed some light.
A 2001 CDC study (Nonfatal Dog Bite-Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments) shows that 368,245 people were treated in US emergency rooms for dog bite injuries that year. That same year, a total of 23 Americans received dog bites that resulted in death (National Canine Research Council). Therefore, there was a ratio of 16,010 cases of dog bites resulting in emergency room treatment for every one fatal dog attack.
While the exact number is unknown, applying the same ratio to the 46 fatal pit bull bite cases since January 2006 would result in the extrapolation that there were 736,460 cases of pit bull attacks that resulted in emergency room treatment. DogsBite.org admits that this extrapolation of this ratio, while may be subject to some criticism, does take two things for granted:
- It assumes that pit bulls are just as likely to attack a human as any other breed.
- It assumes that pit bulls that do attack a human are just as likely to cause injuries requiring emergency care treatment as any other breed.
As the second is known to be false, it would be plausible to believe that the number should be even higher, with the gravity of the injuries to be greater as well.
Emergency room treatment is defined as patients treated for dog bites in emergency departments (EDs). It does not define the degree of injury.