One positive aspect of representing competitive and recreational athletes is that they tend to heal from traumatic injury quickly and completely. When Virginia Sports Injury Lawyer Doug Landau is asked “Why are athletes’ flesh wounds, like dog bites, not stitched up right away ?” he notes that sports medicine doctors are aware that their patients run the risk of infection. Bikers who “wipe out” on the road often have severe “road rash.” Oil, dirt, grease and other contaminants can get under the skin, scabs and healing flesh and present opportunity for infection. Just as with dog attack bite wounds, emergency room doctors will not stitch the injury site, so that the saliva, hair and other contaminants from the animal will not get trapped under the skin and cause infection and sepsis.
In cases of bleeding injuries on artificial turf, the rubber and other man-made materials can get trapped under the skin and cause adverse reactions and infection. Triathlon Trial Lawyer Doug Landau runs barefoot in the warmer weather, and has gotten material imbedded in his feet and ankle that have become infected. Likewise, most sports injuries occur not when the skin is clean, pristine and newly washed, but where there is sweat (with uric acid, which causes its acrid smell as time passes), grime, spilled sports drinks, dirt, dust, and even bodily fluids from other participants (ever been in a “scrum,” football “pileup” or amateur wrestling or boxing match ?). By leaving the wounds “open” or unstitched, and covered by gauze with antibiotics, doctors can monitor the healing process and prevent infectious agents from delaying the athlete’s recovery or making the injury worse by subcutaneous infection.