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First Aid & Emergencies

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Accidental Amputation

Call 911

1. Stop the Beeding

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, if possible.
  • Have the injured person lie down, if possible. Don’t reposition the person if you suspect a head, neck, back, or leg injury.
  • Elevate the injured area.
  • Apply steady, direct pressure to the wound for 15 minutes. You can do this up to three times. 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 feet 12 inches.
  • 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 Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on December 05, 2013

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