A BURNLEY schoolgirl cheated death after being bitten by the family dog — narrowly missing one of her main arteries.

The 14-year-old was at home in Harling Street when the Staffordshire bull terrier attacked.

It sunk its teeth into her groin area, missing her femoral artery by millimetres. The dog was expected to be put down following the attack.


Both the teenager and her father were taken to hospital following the tea-time incident but escaped major harm, police said.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said officers were called to reports of two people being bitten.

He said: "The father of the girl restrained the dog. We were called by the ambulance service, and sent a dog patrol officer with a dog pole.

"We took the dog and it is now in a kennel, and will likely be destroyed."

The dog is not believed to have attacked anybody before, he added.

The Lancashire Telegraph's health expert, Dr Tom Smith, said: "You have got to stop the bleeding very quickly because you can bleed to death if the femoral artery is severed.

"The girl could have bled to death within five minutes or so. It's much more difficult to stop the bleeding if the artery is severed at the groin because you can't put a tourniquet there, you have to jam your fist in the wound and keep it there until you get to hospital.

"Luckily the dog missed the artery, because you have five minutes and that's it."

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said both an ambulance and a rapid response car were sent to the family home, taking 19 minutes to arrive on scene at around 4.45pm on Wednesday..

He said: "We attended to two patients and both were taken in the same ambulance to Royal Blackburn Hospital."

The NWAS spokesman would not provide details of the injuries, but said he did not believe them to be serious.

Staffordshire bull terriers are stocky, muscular dogs, similar in appearance to American Staffordshire terries and American pit bull terriers.

Speaking in September, when the RSPCA urged pet lovers to look at rehoming one of the dogs, chief vet Mark Evans said: "Staffies have a terrible press but this is not of their own making. In fact, they're wonderful dogs. They can make brilliant companions."