Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon Dr. Wigoda Saves Dog Bite Victim

Chief of Plastic Surgery Paul Wigoda, M.D. treated Davie teenager Nicole Periu when she was rushed into Broward General Medical Center with deep wounds covering her back and legs and one ankle nearly severed.

Walking along a wall, Periu was pulled off by a large dog grabbing her by the ankle.

“I was screaming, ‘Help, I’m going to die’,” she said.

“This is one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Wigoda, an award-winning plastic surgeon located in East Broward County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 368,000 dog bite victims are sent to hospital emergency rooms every year. The odds are three to one that the victim will be a child.

“A dog may not mean to hurt a child or their owner, they may just bite as a reaction, and the next thing you know, you’re talking about a permanent deformity,” said Wigoda, who was recently named Chief of Plastic Surgery at Broward General Medical Center.

Tips to Remember if Attacked by a Dog
Local10 News put together a list of tips to help avoid dog bites and what to do if a dog attacks in honor of Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs May 16-23.

  • If a dog attacks, curl in a ball, protecting your head and face with your arms. “Fighting back will only increase the aggression,” said veterinarian Dr. Lisa Radosta. Dr. Wigoda agrees: “When a dog latches on to you, your instinct is to pull away, but that will only increase the risk of tearing, and that becomes very difficult to treat.”
  • If you are the victim of a dog bite, clean the wound and seek medical attention. “If the wound gets infected, you’re going to have a worse injury, worse scarring and worse pain,” said Wigoda.

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