Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

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

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
3d scan of fractured skull
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Person taking food from oven
sniffling child
wound care true or false
caring for wounds
Harvest mite

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More