A traumatic amputation can occur in a variety of accidents, including ones at work and car crashes. These injuries are severe, can be life-threatening and might lead to lifelong impacts. There are a few things that can impact the outcome of a traumatic amputation.
The type of amputation also has an effect on what might happen. The time it takes to get medical care, first aid available at the scene and the type of medical care rendered are a few factors that can impact the outcome.
Type of amputation
There are two types of amputations, both of which are characterized by the severity of the amputation. A complete amputation means that no tissue is connecting the amputated portion of the body to the rest body. A partial amputation means that there is some tissue that still connects the amputated part to the body.
Even though it might not seem like it, complete amputations often fare better than partial amputations. This is because the tissue damage usually isn't as great with a complete amputation. It is also because the amputated part of the body can usually be handled in a more appropriate manner when it isn't attached at all.
First aid for an amputation
One of the primary concerns when an amputation occurs is controlling the bleeding. You have to make sure that the person isn't losing too much blood. Direct pressure applied to the bleeding area is usually advisable. In many cases, using a tourniquet isn't appropriate because it can damage the area below the tourniquet.
Even though it might seem like a priority, taking care of the severed part has to come after the care of the victim. If possible, the amputated part of the body should be wrapped in a damp, clean cloth. It should be placed in a plastic bag that can be securely closed. That bag should then be placed in an ice water bath, if possible. If ice isn't available, the part should be kept as cool as possible.
Prompt medical care is necessary. Ideally, the person will be taken to a trauma center. When the person is transported from the scene of the accident, the severed part of the body should accompany them. Surgeons can then evaluate whether a reattachment is suitable. In either case, the victim is in for a long road to recovery that will likely include time off of work, countless medical appointments and other therapies that are may be very intensive.