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January 20, 1999

Hospitalizations for Dog Bite Injuries

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.Winker, MDIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorsIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(3):232-233. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-3-jbk0120

To the Editor: Although the recent report by Mr Weiss and colleagues1 provided a national estimate of 333,687 dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments (EDs) each year and other work has estimated approximately 17 deaths annually from dog bites,2 we know of no national estimates of hospitalizations for dog bite injuries. The Health Care Utilization Project (HCUP) database maintained by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research contains standardized hospital discharge summaries (including diagnoses, external causes of injury, and total hospitalization charges) for all hospital discharges from 904 sampled hospitals in 17 states. When weighted, the data provide national estimates.