Treating Shark Bites

Fact Checked

Sharks are often one of the most feared animals in the world due to many

famous movies where a shark attacks causing shark bites and more serious attacks. According to International Shark Attack File, there are about 100 reported shark attacks, with only 10 to 15 as deemed fatal. Of the hundreds of shark species identified, only a fewdozens are considered dangerous.
Most of these attacks are due to mistaken identity, wherein sharks mistake humans for their normal prey, such as seals or sea lions. Other times, shark bite injuries are provoked attacks.

Types of attacks leading to shark bites

The three types of shark attacks are hit-and-run, bump-and-bite and sneak attack. Hit-and-run is the most common type of shark attack. Though the other two are less common, they are the more severe shark bite injuries, which may lead to death

  • Hit-and-run
    • A shark takes a single bite and leave the victim alone
  • Bump-and-bite
    • Shark head-butts a victim a few times before going back for further bites
  • Sneak attack
    • Shark bites without warning and follows-up with further attacks

Most commonly involved species in shark bites

  • Great White Shark
  • Tiger Shark
  • Bull Shark

Shark bite symptoms

Because most people do not know when there is a shark close, the only warning received from shark is the bump.

  • An abrasion may be obtained due to the friction of the skin against the shark’s tooth like structures in their skin
  • Crescent-shaped shark bites
  • Parallel cuts
  • Most shark bites:
    • Slightly superficial cuts
    • Puncture wounds that do not pose serious blood vessel or nerve injury

How to apply first aid in shark bites

It is necessary to provide treatment for shark bites victims as soon as possible. First aid may be applied to victims of shark bite attacks, especially while waiting for the paramedics to arrive or on the way to the hospital.

  • Call for emergency medical help if there is a serious injury.
  • Wash the wound with water and soap.
  • To control the bleeding, apply deep, direct pressure on the wounds. Use any absorbent clothing in doing so. If the clothing is soaked in blood, simply put another absorbent on top of the previous one.
  • Apply an antiseptic and apply a sterile dressing to avoid infection.
  • Keep calm and reassure the victim.
  • Cover the victim with a towel or blanket to avoid body heat loss. Also, the victim may be suffering from hypothermia (low body temperature).
  • If there is a major injury, check for the victim’s CAB. Perform rescue breathing and initiate CPR if necessary.
  • If there is an amputated limb, wrap in sterile bandages and place inside a plastic before placing in the ice. Surgery may be necessary.
  • Even if there is only a minor injury, seek for medical advice to avoid any supplemental damages.

First Aid CoursesOftentimes, sharks are very much feared by humans. Although there are not many shark attacks, they can be fatal. Shark bites, and many other different types of puncture wounds, can be treated by learning adequate knowledge from attending first aid classes. Moreover, CPR classes are also offered in case shark bites turn into emergency scenarios.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.