Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

Emergency Care for an Accidental Amputation - Topic Overview

Care for the completely amputated body part

  • Recover the amputated body part, if possible, and transport it to the hospital with the injured person. If the part can't be found right away, transport the injured person to the hospital and bring the amputated part to the hospital when it is found.
  • Gently rinse off dirt and debris with clean water, if possible. Do not scrub.
  • Wrap the amputated part in a dry, sterile gauze or clean cloth.
  • Put the wrapped part in a plastic bag or waterproof container.
  • Place the plastic bag or waterproof container on ice. The goal is to keep the amputated part cool but not to cause more damage from the cold ice. Do not cover the part with ice or put it directly into ice water.

Care for the part of the body where the amputation happened

  • Stop the bleeding.
  • Elevate the injured area.
  • Wrap or cover the injured area with a sterile dressing or clean cloth until medical treatment is received.

Care for a partially amputated body part

  • Elevate the injured area.
  • Wrap or cover the injured area with a sterile dressing or clean cloth. Apply pressure if the injured area is bleeding. This will slow the bleeding until the person receives medical care. You don't want to cut off the blood flow to the partially amputated part, so pressure needs to be light—just enough to slow blood loss.
  • Gently splint the injured area to prevent movement or further damage.
1|2
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Emergency Care for an Accidental Amputation Topics

Today on WebMD

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

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.

Thanks!

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