What should I do after accidental amputation?
If you lose a limb or finger to accidental amputation, act as quickly as possible. It may take some time for you to recover from the shock, so hopefully, you are not alone when the incident happens. When amputation occurs, it is almost always necessary to immediately seek medical attention. The longer you wait, the lower the chances of reattachment and the higher the chances of bleeding out.
Only medical professionals can advise you on how to treat an amputation. WebMD offers the following tips.
Stop the bleeding
If possible, you may consider washing the area with soap and water to cleanse it. Lying down and elevating the wound then becomes the next course of action. Applying pressure near or around the wound may also help stop the bleeding.
If you go into shock, the person accompanying you has several options for treatment until paramedics arise:
- Help keep you calm but alert.
- Help you lay flat and then raise your feet up by about one foot.
- Cover you with a blanket or a coat.
Find and save amputated part
If you are in no further immediate danger, your colleagues may begin searching for the missing body part. When you feel well, you may want to do this yourself, but it may worsen your shock and cause you to bleed out more. If you are alone, paramedics generally search for the missing part on arrival.
If you also suffered an injury to the leg, back or neck and you are still conscious, advise your colleagues against moving you. WebMD repeatedly cautions against repositioning someone who has these injuries.
This article shares information provided by WebMD. Readers are advised against using it as or in place of medical advice.