The most common cause of injury is bites from non-toxic arthropods, the group of spiders, mosquitoes, ticks and centipedes. With rising temperatures, the habitats of some of these creatures grow larger as they can survive in more places, which can hurt more people.
The habitats of larger animals, such as bears, overlap more and more with human development and recreational activities, which could also increase the number of injuries to these animals, the study said.
Over five years, over 6 million emergency rooms in emergency departments were associated with animal injuries. That's 1,291,507 people per year or 19 injuries per 10,000 visits.
"First and foremost, the most common injury an animal brings is not actually a bear or alligator, it's actually much smaller," said Forrester, an accident surgeon and fellow at Stanford University.
Almost half of the injuries (41%) were due to bites from non-toxic arthropods. The second most common cause was dog bites, which accounted for 26% of the injuries. Third were bites and stings of hornets, wasps and bees, which accounted for 13% of the injuries.
The highest percentage of ER visits for animal-related injuries – 42% – occurred in the South.
The study found that the highest group of patients (34%) had the lowest household income of 25% for their zip code. These were also the patients most often injured by bites from poisonous snakes, spiders and arthropods.
"This finding has implications for public health prevention programs aimed at reducing injury from preventable causes," said Stallones, who was not involved in the research.
Only 3% of those seen in an emergency room were hospitalized. One third of hospital admissions came from non-toxic arthropod bites. Those who had single abdominal injuries were most likely hospitalized or died.
Although there were a variety of injuries in the study period, there were only 1,162 deaths. This corresponds to 0.02% of the emergency visits. Of these deaths, 278 came after a bite from a non-venomous arthropod, the largest number from a single cause.
Rat bites were the mechanism of injury with the highest mortality rate: 6.5 deaths per 10,000 bites. It was followed by bites of poisonous snakes and lizards. Dog bites were responsible for the third highest death rate.
Holstege pointed to this that the codes used to identify animal injuries "make it difficult to further investigate why certain animals have been linked to mortality or registration."
"I think this article really does bring us some good snapshot in the modern era of related costs, and when you look at the cost and tries to calculate the cost It is good to get such data out so that we can also look at the prevention efforts, "said Holstege, who was not involved in the investigation.
Dog bites and non-venomous arthropods were the two most expensive types of injuries, costing $ 1.36 billion and $ 1.33 billion, respectively, in the five years under review. These categories together with injuries from poisonous snakes and lizards, costing 898 million US dollars, accounted for approximately 60% of the total cost.
Holstege suggests that the costs associated with toxic snake and lizard injuries may be due to the necessary antidotes.
"Very few of these cases have been hospitalized," he said. "The question is, how many actually had to go to an emergency room, and could the costs be reduced by either calling the poison center, being rewarded with something toxic, or talking to a family doctor?"
The authors Note that the total cost of these injuries during the five-year period is $ 5.96 billion. However, there are also costs, including medical, ambulance and rehabilitation costs as well as lost labor costs.
If attacked by an animal, Forrester, Stallones, and Holstege recommend immediate medical attention, whether in an emergency room, GP, or Poison Center.