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How To Treat an Amputation

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Updated October 24, 2011

Amputations come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it's a leg amputation, a finger amputation, or a penis amputation, the treatment is exactly the same. React quickly and there's a good chance the amputated part can be reattached.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Act quickly

Here's How:

  1. Stay Safe. If you are not the victim, practice universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if available.

  2. Call 911 immediately. If calling from a cell phone, be sure to tell the operator your location as clearly as possible.

  3. Make sure the victim has an airway and is breathing - if not, begin CPR. Control bleeding on the stump (the part of the amputated limb still attached to the victim). Use pressure directly on the wound and elevate the limb above the heart if possible. Do not use a tourniquet unless medical care will be delayed for several hours.

  4. Collect the amputated limb and put it in a bag. Place the amputation on top of ice. Do not wash the amputation or put it in water. Do not put the amputation in ice, just on top.

  5. If an ambulance is not available, get the victim to medical care as soon as possible.

  6. Watch for signs of shock.

Tips:

  1. Do not let the victim eat or drink anything. Reattaching an amputation requires surgery. Doctors do not want surgery patients to have anything in their stomachs during the procedure.
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