This is a serious injury. It is when a limb is severed or torn away from the body. Depending on how the amputation occurs, the arteries and veins can spasm, recoil and seal, thereby reducing the amount of blood lost.
NOTE: It is important to remember to retrieve the amputated body part.
In addition to normal control methods for external bleeding, you may also need to:
- Use multiple pads and bandages to be applied to the wound site to stop bleeding.
- In extreme cases a constrictive bandage may be used if bleeding cannot be controlled
- Call 000 for an ambulance
Caring for the amputated body part
The amputated body part has the greatest chance of being re-attached by a specialist doctor if it is handled correctly as follows:
- Place the amputated body part in a watertight plastic bag
- The plastic bag can then be placed in a container of iced or cold water
- DO NOT allow ice or water to come into direct contact with the amputated body part
- DO NOT wash the amputated body part. Washing can damage the tissue and nerve endings and reduces the chance of being successfully re-attached to the casualty
- DO NOT place body parts into a fridge or freezer
- The casualty and the amputated body part are to travel to the hospital together