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

Sources

SOURCES:

American Medical Association, Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care, Random House, 2009. National Institutes of Medicine. 

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