First Aid Treatment for Accidental Amputation
Here are some instructions for an amputated body in case you ever encounter a situation like this.
When a body part is completely or partially cut off, quick first aid action should be administered to help ensure the best possible repair. Time is of the essence with any accidental amputation, and although reattachment can be done up to 24 hours after amputation, it has the best chance of being successful if done within four to six hours after the incident.
In the event of an emergency, follow the below first aid instructions for the amputated body part if you ever encounter such a situation.
What to do
1. First call 911, next stop the bleeding
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Next, if the injured person can, have him or her lie down and elevate the injured area. Don’t reposition the person if you suspect a head, neck, leg, or back injury.
- Remove any objects in the wound that are visible and easy to remove, and cut clothing from around the wound.
- Apply direct pressure to the wound. Apply another covering over the first one if blood soaks through. Don’t remove the first one.
- If bleeding is severe enough and not stopped with direct pressure, use a tourniquet or compression bandage.
2. Check for and treat symptoms of shock
- Signs of physiological shock include losing consciousness, feeling dizzy, feeling weak, or have trouble standing up.
- If you notice signs of physiological shock, raise the affected person’s feet about 12 inches if possible. Again, don’t reposition the person if you suspect a head, neck, leg, or back injury.
- Next, cover the person with a coat, blanket, or towel. Try to keep the person as calm as possible until emergency medics arrive.
3. Clean the wound
- Wrap the injured area with dry sterile gauze or clean cloth.
4. Care for the partially or completely amputated body part
- For a partially amputated body part, start by elevating the injured area if possible. Next, wrap or cover the injured body part with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Apply light pressure if bleeding is occurring. Lastly, gently splint the injured area to prevent movement or further injury.
- For a completely amputated body part, start by rinsing the amputated body part with clean water to remove dirt or debris. Don’t use soap and don’t scrub it. Next, place the amputated body part in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container, and pack the bag in ice. Take it with you to the hospital.
After amputation: words of advice
The loss of a body part is one of the most traumatic and invasive things that people experience. If a body part is unable to be reattached after an accidental amputation, especially if it’s an arm or a leg, it’s never easy. However, if one accepts help and advice, the healing process may be a bit easier.
Help after an accidental amputation can come in many different forms. It may include contacting a law firm with qualified workers compensation lawyers if the accident occurred at work. In other cases, it may come in the form of psychological or psychiatric support. No matter what type of help is needed, loved ones, doctors, and other medical professionals can guide the person to receive the assistance they need.
Despite day-to-day struggles and a range of changes, an amputee should never lose hope. For many amputees, the use of a prosthetic device can improve mobility and help manage daily activities. To make using a prosthetic device easier, many companies have developed innovative products as well. For example, Silipos is a company that manufactures prosthetic gel products, making gel liners and pads for amputees. The products are often highly rated because of the comfort they provide.
As with any tragic event, people overcome trauma in their own way. Finding the right attitude is key. When patients are actively involved in their recovery process, and they’re able to maintain a positive attitude, recovery and rehabilitation are often successful.