Years of reconstruction for bite victim

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Last updated 17:56 17/03/2014
Sakurako Uehara
SUPPLIED
YOUNG VICTIM: Sakurako Uehara, 7, was savagely attacked by four dogs in Murupara.

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Japanese girl Sakurako Uehara remains in a serious condition in hospital today, as she prepares for facial reconstruction treatment.

The seven-year-old girl was savaged by four Staffordshire bull terrier-cross dogs two weeks ago at a Murupara property.

Sakurako will have to undergo medical procedures three times a week for the "foreseeable future," doctors said.

She was transferred to Middlemore Hospital, where she was now in a serious, but stable condition.

A Middlemore spokeswoman said last week that Sakurako would need three medical procedures a week as part of reconstructions efforts.

Plastic surgeon Zachary 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.

The medical team were now concentrating on cleaning, "debriding" the wounds and keeping her free from infection.

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," he said

"She will be with us for some time."

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

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