Shark bite

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  • From subclass Elasmobranchii of the class Chondrichthyes ("cartilaginous fishes")
  • White shark (Carcharodon carcharias), tiger shark (Galeocerdo curvier) appear to be disposed to human attacks than other species
  • Approximately 70-100 shark attacks worldwide per year and 5-15 deaths

Clinical presentation

  • Direct traumatic effects depend on size and species of shark
  • Typically, attack appendages of victims
    • In 70% on surface swimmers, only the lower limb is involved
    • Upper limb may be injured when the victim attempts to fight off the attack
  • Massive tissue injury
  • Substantial tissue loss and extremity amputation common
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Extremely high incidence of contamination with atypical microorganisms leading to wound infections