Dog maul victim's bite wounds horrific

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 15:31 07/03/2014
Fairfax NZ

Plastic and reconstructive Surgeon, Dr Zac Moaveni, talks about Sakurako Uehara's injuries and her road to recovery.

Dog attack victim: family statement

Sakurako Uehara
SUPPLIED
YOUNG VICTIM: Sakurako Uehara, 7, who was savagely attacked by four dogs in Murupara on Monday afternoon.

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A seven-year-old girl savaged by four dogs was bitten more than 100 times all over her body, her medical team says.

Sakurako Uehara was attacked by four Staffordshire bull terrier-cross dogs while visiting a family friend at a Murupara property on Monday afternoon.

She was transferred to Middlemore Hospital, where she remains in a critical but stable condition.

At a media briefing this afternoon, plastic surgeon Dr Zac Moaveni said the attack was horrific and sustained, and that Sakurako would have been conscious throughout the attack and the medical process afterwards.

"I don't think any of us were prepared for what we were going to see," he said.

Sakurako had extensive injuries to her face and all her limbs.

She had sustained more than 100 bites "any of which would make you wince", he said.

He credited the retrieval team that first responded to the attack with saving Sakurako's life.

They were now concentrating on cleaning, "debriding" the wounds and keeping her free of infection.

They would move next week to evaluating what reconstruction efforts - which will include transferring tissue from other parts of her body - could be undertaken.

He estimated she would be undergoing reconstruction efforts, probably until she reached adulthood.

Intensivist Dr David Galler said Sakurako's wounds were "grossly contaminated".

"She's got some risks, clearly, largely from infection... She will be with us for some time."

The injuries were complex as dog bites involved crushing injuries as well as the cuts.

A social worker read a statement from Sakurako's parents in which they thanked those involved in her care and asked people to keep their daughter in their prayers.

They particularly asked to thank the driver of a red car who stopped and helped get their daughter to the medical centre.

They said they were a small family who worked in the food industry and did not have a lot of family support back in Japan.

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- Fairfax Media

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