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    First Aid & Emergencies

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    Accidental Amputation

    Call 911

    1. Stop the Bleeding

    • Wash your hands with soap and water, if possible.
    • Have the injured person lie down, if possible, and elevate the injured area.
    • Don’t reposition the person if you suspect a head, neck, back, or leg injury.
    • Apply steady, direct pressure to the wound. If there’s an object in the wound, apply pressure around it, not directly over it.
    • If blood soaks through, apply another covering over the first one. Don’t take the first one off.
    • Use a tourniquet or compression bandage only if bleeding is severe and not stopped with direct pressure.

    2. Check for and Treat Shock

    • With the person still lying flat, raise the feet about 12 inches.
    • Don’t reposition the person if you suspect a head, neck, back, or leg injury.

    • Cover with coat or blanket.
    • Calm the person as much as possible until medical help arrives.

    3. Clean and Protect Wound

    • Wrap or cover the injured area with sterile dressing or clean cloth.

    4. Save Amputated Part

    In some cases, the amputated part can be reattached.

    • If possible, rinse with clean water to remove dirt or debris. Do not use soap or scrub.
    • Place in a clean, plastic bag.
    • Pack the bag in ice. Take it with you to the hospital.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on January 20, 2016

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