It’s been hounding (pun intended) Si Won the fact that a french bull dog that his family owned bit a neighbour, and that same neighbour ended up dying several days later.
Dog bites aren’t something you can predict, something triggers a dog that was previously calm into attack mode, sometimes it’s obviously provoked at other times it’s difficult to decipher. I don’t have information on how many dog bites occur in Korea but the WHO reports that in the US there are about 4.5 million incidents of dog bites and only 885 000 seek medical care and about 10-20 fatalities occur every year. Living and working as a general doctor in a rural town in Mexico I can tell you that I see about 4 bites a week and about 7-8 in high mating season and as of yet I’ve had no fatalities in my little town because of communication- we have campaigns on what to do when a dog bites you and they know that my roommate and I are at the clinic basically 24/7 and they can knock on our door at whatever time for medical attention.
What I also want to emphasize is that even with so many bites from random dogs in the town, the townspeople don’t make the owners kill the dog. They accept that something random triggered the bite and move on. What they are most preoccupied is NOT having the dog put down, what they are preoccupied about is getting medical treatment.
Because we do have a lot of animal bite patients in our little towns, we’ve been taught and trained on how to treat avariety of bites. We’ve been taught about the dangers of sepsis, about the bacteria that colonize the mouths of domestic animals, about the many factors that come into play in fighting off an infection. And most important of all is that all bites are sites of bacterial contamination so we are obligated to give prophylactic antibiotics because we cannot be sure of how competent the patient’s immune system is.
We do try to remember that the patient, as ‘Dr. House” always said: always lie. Maybe not on purpose, but they might forget to mention important conditions like asplenia, among other immune compromising conditions such as diabetes, cirrhosis, thymus disease, autoimmune diseases, HIV/AIDS, if they are using immunosuppresing agents such as systemic corticosteroids, azathioprine, and others also used in preventing transplant rejection, or in various cancer treatments. Then it must be taken into account that factors such as stress levels, age, how well nourished the person is, also have impact on the immune system, so we just never really know how any one person will react to infections.
By how fast everything happened I suspect that the lady might have had the bad luck that the wound was infected with Capnocytophaga canimorsus which has been associated to a variety of clinical conditions such as septicemia, purpura fulminans, peripheral gangrene, endocarditis, and meningitis following dog bites. Although fulminant infections with Capnocytophaga canimorsus are more likely to occur to immunocompromised patients this type of infection and its complications after a dog bite have been reported for immunocompetent patients.
The Choi family did NOT sic their dog on the neighbour. If it was Capnocytophaga canimorsus that caused the tragedy it wasn’t something that they could control either. That bacteria can be present even in the healthiest of dogs. The only thing they can be held responsible for is not keeping their door shut. They did NOT kill the lady so nobody should point their fingers at them as if they were murderers.
So TL;DR it was a complete accident that unfortunately ended in tragedy because of many possible reasons. Stop hating and start letting the grieving family deal with it in the manner they deem fit.