Man Dies After Bite From Family Dog Causes Multiple Organ Failure

A coroner's investigation heard how a British man died after a small bite from his playful dog caused him to contract a rare blood disorder, the Knutsford Guardian reported Wednesday.

Father-of-two Damian Holden was on a camping trip in North Wales with his pregnant wife Nicola and their son Sam when he was bitten by the family's "boisterous" weimaraner dog, Eric.

The 35-year-old thought nothing more of the incident, but by the time the family had arrived back at their home in Crewe, northern England, he was feverish and in pain.

He was taken to the nearby Leighton Hospital where tests revealed the dog bite had caused Holden to contract sepsis, which triggered multiple organ failure.

"Four or five systems in his body were failing," said Dr. Susan Gilbey, a consultant at the hospital. "When you get to that level of support everything is a risk and the prospect of survival gets less and less."

Holden, a machine operator for the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, had to have his feet amputated in July 2009, one month after the dog bite.

He began to make a steady recovery but then suffered another severe bout of sepsis and died Sept. 21.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, the coroner, Dr. Nicholas Rheinberg, said, "This was an unusual case. It is bizarre to look at the intention of a dog but I'm satisfied that the dog Eric did not have any malicious intent."

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