A body digit or limb, such as your finger and toe (digits) or hand
and foot (limbs), can sometimes get caught in objects such as bottles, jars,
toys, pipes, railings, or fences. You may be able to free your digit or limb
using home treatment.
Blood flow can be reduced or cut off if your digit or limb remains
stuck in an object. Immediate removal can help prevent complications, such as
the loss of your digit or limb. Remove your digit or limb carefully so that
removal attempts do not cause injury.
Not able to breathe because something is blocking the airway or has caused it to close off
Wheezing or gasping
Not able to cry, talk, or make noise
Turning blue in the face
Grabbing at the throat
To free a trapped digit or limb stuck in an object:
Don't force the digit or limb. This may make the
digit or limb swell and become harder to remove.
relax the digit or limb. Relaxation alone will sometimes enable you to free the
trapped digit or limb.
If possible, elevate the digit or limb above
the level of the heart to reduce swelling.
Apply ice around the
exposed digit or limb. This may reduce any swelling and allow it to be
If ice doesn't work, dribble soapy water or cooking oil
on the digit or limb to make it slippery.
Turn the object to
"unscrew" it rather than pulling it off directly.
A doctor can assist with removal in a safe manner if
these measures do not work. The fire department or paramedics may be needed to
help free your trapped limb if it is trapped in an object connected to the
ground, such as a fence.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this