All Geographical Regions Report Pit Bulls Highest Prevalence
Retrospective studies from level 1 trauma centers from all major geographical regions in the U.S. are reporting a higher frequency of pit bull injuries than all other breeds of dogs. In many cases, the studies also report that pit bull injuries have a higher severity of injury and require a greater number of operative interventions. Only one study in 11 reported different results, a level 1 pediatric trauma center in the Denver-Aurora region, where pit bulls have long been banned.
Inclusion requirements for this table: A peer-reviewed, multi-year retrospective level 1 trauma center examination of hospital records for patients injured by dogs. The study must be authored by doctors, human injury medical experts, and published in a scientific medical journal. Below are 11 studies published from 2009 to July 2016 that meet those requirements. Hospital records do not always contain breed data, however, some trauma centers are capturing up to 79% of this data.
Level 1 Trauma Center Retrospective Studies of Dog Bite Injuries
|Years||Region||Studied & Breed||Top Biting||Study Name|
|1999-2006||Midwest - Two Level 1 trauma centers (5 hospitals total) - Indianapolis, IN||1,347 studied. 122 were hospitalized or under 23 hour observation; breed identified in 34 cases 28%, of this subset.||Pit bull (15) 12% of total subset reviewed for breed.||Analysis of Nonfatal Dog Bites in Children, by Daniels et al., The Journal of Trauma Injury Infection and Critical Care, March 2009|
|1999-2007||Northeast - Level 1 trauma center (tertiary care) - Buffalo, NY||84 studied. Head and neck injuires only. Total number of dogs identified by breed not listed.||Pit bull (11) 13% of total studied.||Head and Neck Dog Bites in Children, by Monroy et al., Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, April 2009|
|2001-2005||Northeast - Level 1 trauma center (pediatric) - Philadelphia, PA||551 studied. Breed identified in 269 cases, 49%. Over 30 different breeds identified.||Pit bull (137) 51% when breed known and 25% of total studied.||Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries: A 5-Year Review of the Experience at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, by Kaye et al., Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, August 2009|
|1994-2009||South - Level 1 trauma center - San Antonio, TX||228 studied. Breed identified in 82 cases, 36%. Pit bulls associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death. Three fatalities.||Pit bulls (29) 35% when breed known. Pit bulls inflicted all three fatalities.||Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs, by Bini et al., Annals of Surgery, April 2011|
|2005-2009||Southeast - Level 1 trauma center - Charleston, WV||40 studied. Facial, head and neck injuries only. Breed identified in 30 cases, 75%. The skull and orbital fractures were caused by pit bulls.||Pit bull (12) 40% when breed known and 30% of total studied.||Dog Bites of the Face, Head and Neck in Children, by Horswell et al., West Virginia Medical Journal, Nov-Dec 2011
|2003-2008||West - Level 1 trauma (pediatric) - Denver/Aurora, CO - View map of pit bull bans in this region starting in 1989.||537 studied. Facial injuries only. 58 breeds identified in 366 cases, 68.2%. "Our study found 11 victims of pit bull bites from 2003 to 2008, including the patient who suffered the most extensive injuries and the longest hospitalization of our entire population, indicating that despite legislation, pit bull bites continue to be a public health concern."||Mixed breed (84) 23% when breed known and 16% of total studied.||Analysis of Pediatric Facial Dog Bites, by Chen et al., Craniomaxillofac Trauma Reconstruction, December 2013
|2012-2013||West - Level 1 trauma center - Sacramento, CA||334 studied. Breed identified in 211 cases, 63%. Pit bull injuries had the highest rate of consultation (94%) and 5 times the relative rate of surgical intervention when compared to other breeds.||Pit bull (114) 54% when breed known and 34% of total studied.||Dog bites of the head and neck: an evaluation of a common pediatric trauma and associated treatment, by O'Brien et al., American Journal of Otolaryngology, January–February, 2015
|2007-2013||Southwest - Level 1 trauma center (pediatric) - Phoenix, AZ||282 studied. Breed identified in 213 cases, 75.5%. Pit bulls accounted for 38% of all head, neck or facial bites. Of the 11 patients with the highest AIS (3–5),1 pit bulls were responsible in 45.5% of cases.||Pit bull (83) 39% when breed known and 29% of total studied.||Morbidity of pediatric dog bites: A case series at a level one pediatric trauma center, by Garvey et al., Journal of Pediatric Surgery, February 2015|
|2006-2013||Southeast - Level 1 trauma center - Knoxville, TN||20 studied. Facial, head and neck injuries only (oral and maxillofacial region). Breed identified in 16 cases, 80%. One fatality.||Pit bull (9) 56% when breed was known and 45% of total studied. Pit bull inflicted fatality.||Contemporary Update on the Treatment of Dog Bite: Injuries to the Oral and Maxillofacial Region, by Foster et al., Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, May 2015
|2003-2013||Northwest - Regional level 1 trauma center - Seattle, WA||342 studied. Breeds identified in 270 cases, 79%. Among dogs unknown to patients, pit bulls were responsible for 60% of all injuries and 63% of ocular injuries.||Pit bull (92) 27% of total studied and (22.7) 25% of all ocular injuries.||Ocular Trauma From Dog Bites: Characterization, Associations, and Treatment Patterns at a Regional Level I Trauma Center Over 11 Years, by Prendes et al., Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, June 2015|
|4 years||Southeast - Level 1 trauma center (pediatric) - Atlanta, GA||1616 studied. 46 breeds identified in 506 cases, 31.3%. Pit bulls responsible for 50% of injuries requiring surgery and over 2.5 times as likely to bite in multiple anatomic locations than other breeds. Operative intervention more than 3 times as likely to be associated with pit bull injury than any other breed. One fatality.||Pit bull (195) 38.5% when breed was known and 12% of total studied. Pit bull inflicted fatality.||Characteristics of 1616 Consecutive Dog Bite Injuries at a Single Institution, by Golinko et al., Clinical Pediatrics, July 2016
09/01/16: Pit Bulls Lead 'Bite' Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties
09/01/16: Cities with Successful Pit Bull Laws; Data Shows Breed-Specific Laws Work
02/19/16: 11-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Breed (2005 to 2015)
02/19/16: 11-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Age Groups (2005 to 2015)
08/31/15: Who Can Identify a Pit Bull? A Dog Owner of 'Ordinary Intelligence' Say the High Courts
07/24/14: Nonprofits Urge CDC to Resume Tracking Richer Data Set for Children and Adults...