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Leeches save woman's face after dog attack

David Landes · 20 Sep 2011, 11:29

Published: 20 Sep 2011 11:29 GMT+02:00

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The woman was rushed to hospital in August after her mixed-breed dog unexpectedly attacked her, biting off a piece of her face from her upper lip all the way up to her eye.

Alert relatives made sure to recover the loose chunk of flesh bitten off by the dog and keep it chilled until they arrived at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö.

“She arrived to the emergency room in Malmö in the middle of the night from another Skåne hospital,” said specialist Jens Larsson, who admitted the woman back in August, in a statement.

The injured woman was rushed to surgery while Larsson made a call to specialist Stina Klasson.

“The most important thing was to get blood into the torn off body part, which we managed to do within an hour of the start of the operation,” said Klasson.

The dog had removed the woman's upper lip, her nose, as well as parts of her cheek, requiring Klasson and Larsson to keep the woman in surgery for the next 15 hours in a desperate and complicated attempt to save her face.

The doctors also employed the services of hundreds of leeches to help assist in the procedure.

“The grower who supplies the hospital with leeches ran out. More leeches had to be flown in from the UK,” said Klasson.

A total of 358 leeches were used in the operation which, with their incessant sucking and blood thinning fluids, helped kick-start circulation in the woman's face.

Doctors at the hospital consider the procedure a success, although the woman will likely need continued reconstructive operations in the future.

“The results appear to be good. Her whole nose has survived,” said Larsson.

Story continues below…

“The patient can breathe, eat, and talk.”

According to the hospital, the operation was likely the first of its kind in the Nordic region and among only a handful of similar procedures performed at other plastic surgery centres around the world.

The woman's dog has since been euthanised.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:02 September 20, 2011 by Rishonim
I believe mixed race is specifically reserved for humans hence the term you should use for the dog should be mixed breed. Yet, I wonder why is it important to point out the dog was mixed? is there a hidden agenda regarding to this story. Any thing mixed is bad????
14:03 September 20, 2011 by TrixyTretya
Shouldn't it be "with their incessant" ?
14:43 September 20, 2011 by darky
I hope pet lovers learnt a lesson härfrån !
16:23 September 20, 2011 by Boar
No, Never a lesson. They will soon come out and begin to bark as usual.

They say again as usual:

Min Hund: Han/Hon är snäll. When it attacks someone then they say it's the fault of something which it saw and got frightened.
18:24 September 20, 2011 by Twiceshy
darky and Boar what lesson is there to learn? That dogs can bite someone? I think we already knew that...

We have no idea how / why the attack happened, whether she trained and treated the dog well or not, etc. I don't see enough information to learn any lessons here.
18:58 September 20, 2011 by Boar
Once there was a blond girl walking with the dog. I was just passing beside the wall and took the road. The giant dog suddenly barked at me. It almost attacked me. The girl then holded it after 1 or 2 seconds and quietly went from there. Because, she doesn't want to say sorry or whatever. Just went quietly with it as if nothing serious happened.

The way was not very narrow. It's like a house and then a house and it has like 5 metres or so gap, the way was with grass. The girl knows that people will walk over there and it's a residential area. In fact she should be alert there and then when it is a clear area she can let loose the dog.

She knows everything. But, blindly thinks know one will pass. If she thinks no one will pass then how come I passed that way? She could even take another side instead of making the dog to pass through houses. She had plenty of space the other side. She was normal height and the dog was very huge. I don't know what kind of breed it was. But, the dog was light brown and big. It looked like it was 50 or 60 kilos almost the girls weight. I blame the girl. Not the dog. Because, the dog might have got frightened as we both met exactly in the corner. Obviously she is a fool as she was making the dog walk the corner in spite of having enough space in middle (grassy area everywhere), and loosing the chain as long as possible.
19:20 September 20, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Nobody accosts "foolish" blond girls with large brown dogs!

That's a fact.

You could look it up.
19:47 September 20, 2011 by wxman
"Mixed breed dog," a euphemism for Pit Bull.
20:23 September 20, 2011 by Boar
Yeah. Pit Bull breed is a very foolish dog. which ever has such a mouth. It never obeys the owner as after 1 second it makes decisions on it's own .

Was a saying that barking dogs do not bite and biting dogs do not bark.

This foolish creature has a habit of barking and at the same time biting.

It has no patience. It cannot identify who is a friend and who is an enemy. It just keeps attacking who ever passes by.

It's a kind of nuisance barker.
08:07 September 21, 2011 by orangetree
Mixed breed is important in some facts. It is changing dogs behaviour and capabilities. after a mixed breed, a medium size, agressive dog may have bigger size cub or will have a stronger preying.

And last week in Götgatan/stockholm I witnessed a pitbull attack to another dog couldnt even look at all but just cryings and barkings..

The pitbull owner had no control over it. after the attack what happened?

The victim dog and owner were busy with trauma and wounds and pitbull and onwer just sneaked away!!
14:15 September 21, 2011 by Boar
The pit bull owner sneaked away because the person doesn't want to face court charges and pay a fine like 10 K or 20 K depending on the incidents. Escaping is easier way.
14:28 September 22, 2011 by edvyan
Some dogs could be extremely dangerous when strangers or even the keepers get close to them. Month ago I was walking in coast where there was a big cane carso kind hiding silently behind a car. What the worst is the dog was leashed with a resilient rope, thank god I dodged in time or I must be taking some surgery like the woman at the moment. Its skull is very huge. Dogs in this "class" no needs to bark but you can still feel very strong aggression. I don't know why people are still keeping these dangerous animals, if purely for personal interests, please just keep them home carefully rather than in public with resilient rope.
22:48 September 23, 2011 by Mim_in_Oz
There are several interesting conclusions to draw from the above story and comments.

- any amazing story about technological and surgical prowess is easily overshadowed by even casual mention of a dog hurting someone

- the crazy scramble to condemn dogs after such an event is exactly why dogs are so incredibly safe (they are far less dangerous than cars, bees, cigarettes, or food). On the extremely rare occasion a dog hurts a person, that dog is instantly destroyed and the particular breed of dog's right to exist is hotly debated, as well as the desire to restrict all dogs still further. This informal eugenics program has made dogs amazingly safe.

- we will never have to worry about artificially intelligent machines threatening us because the hysterical attitude to the safety of dogs is nothing compared to how people will act regarding an AI that hurts someone.

- the massive help to people contributed by dogs is easily ignored by hysterical people wishing to ban or further restrict man's best friend. People live longer, recover from illness more quickly, and remain happier if they have a dog companion. We may even owe our very existence to dogs -- humans were dying out and were down to just a few tribes when we suddenly began to spread. Coincidentally that was about the same time we formed our partnership with dogs.
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