Amputated Fingertip

Signs of Danger

Anything can be a cause for amputation, from doors to knives to broken glass and even boulders, so be sure to practice being careful. Also, if there are kids at home, hide these potential hazards. They say “keep out of reach of children” as a warning for very good and practical reasons.

Symptoms

  • Any member that’s either completely cut or partly severed.
  • Bleeding, depending on location or nature of injury.
  • Pain, though the degree felt might not always be equally proportioned to the bleeding or injury.
  • Crushed body tissue, either in the form of mangled muscles, skin, etc.

Steps to Follow

(These are common steps to take. For more on what to do, see also Steps to follow under Bleeding)

1. Calm the person.
Getting that finger amputated can be painful and extremely frightening. So make certain to assure the victim that it will be all right. And that help is on its way.

2. Stop the bleeding.
Bleeding is likely to occur next after an amputated finger so it is important to control that bleeding. Apply pressure to at least lessen the outflow. You can also use a pressure bandage but not too much as sometimes using direct pressure on the wound especially if it’s too tightly can do more harm than good.

3. Save the body part.
Remove the dirt that may contaminate the wound. Wash also the dismembered part and do so gently.

4. If it’s totally cut off, wrap the severed body part.
It’s also important that not only the patient but also the body part be taken immediately to the hospital emergency. Wrap the amputated part in clean, damp cloth and seal in a plastic bag before placing in ice water.

5. Support the affected area and prevent shock.
It is best to keep the amputated area or what’s left of it at a higher level than the heart so as to slow if not entirely stop the bleeding.

Tips: Remember these Do’s and Do Not’s

For severed body parts do not put directly in water without placing first in a plastic bag. Don’t place it directly on ice as well or on dry ice. These will certainly damage the part.

If cold water is unavailable, just keep the part as clean and away from heat as possible. It’s best if you can save it for the medical professionals. Remember cooling the part keeps it usable for some 18 hours; without, for about 4 to 6.

Keep the patient warm and comfortable. If putting him or her in a particular position causes more pain or discomfort, assist to relieve immediately. But keep in mind the injury of course. Stay with the person until help arrives or take him or her to the nearest emergency facility if possible.

If the bleeding is under control, check for other injuries. Sometimes, an amputated finger might also be signs of other injuries that need first aid. If possible, confirm and ask the victim.

Related Links

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000006.htm
http://firstaid.webmd.com/tc/emergency-care-for-an-accidental-amputation-topic-overview
http://www.healthofchildren.com/T/Traumatic-Amputations.html#b

 

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