Mortality and Management of 96 Shark Attacks and Development of a Shark Bite Severity Scoring System
Humans share a fascination and fear of sharks. We predict that most shark attacks are nonfatal but require skilled, timely medical intervention. The development of a shark bite severity scoring scale will assist communication and understanding of such an injury. We retrospectively reviewed records of the prospectively maintained International Shark Attack File (ISAF) at the University of Florida. The ISAF contains 4409 investigations, including 2979 documented attacks, 96 of which have complete medical records. We developed a Shark-Induced Trauma (SIT) Scale and calculated the level of injury for each attack. Medical records were reviewed for the 96 documented shark attack victims since 1921. Calculated levels of injury in the SIT Scale reveal 40 Level 1 injuries (41.7%), 16 Level 2 injuries (16.7%), 18 Level 3 injuries (18.8%), 14 Level 4 injuries (14.6%), and eight Level 5 injuries (8.3%). The overall mortality of shark attacks was 8.3 per cent. However, SIT Scale Level 1 injuries comprised the greatest percentage of cases at 41.7 per cent. Injury to major vascular structures increases mortality and necessitates immediate medical attention and definitive care by a surgeon. Shark bites deserve recognition with prompt resuscitation, washout, débridement, and follow up for prevention of infection and closure of more complex wounds.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
Publication date: January 1, 2010
More about this publication?
- The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Annual Scientific Meeting
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites