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How To Save a Severed Finger For Re-Attachment

This article gives you details on what you should do if you sever a finger. How to care for the finger so that it has a better chance of being re-attached. Treating it properly can make a big difference in weather or not the finger can be saved. Also gives details on what you should not do.

Hopefully this is advice you will never need to use.  I used to work in the office of a factory where they formed and cut metal.  Therefore there were a lot of sharp machines.  I was the first person that saw people who had any kind of accident.  I had to have first aid training, but that can not really prepare you for the first time you see someone sever a body part.  I did not see the actual severing but I saw the person right after he severed his finger.  The first thing I did was of course 911. He not only severed his finger but he was also in shock.  Thankfully the ambulance was able to get their quickly and I rode to the hospital with him.  I placed the finger in a baggie because I really did not know what to do with it, but I knew it couldn't just sit out in the open air.  I was partially right about what I did, but I had the doctor explain to me what I should do if this ever happened to any one ever again. Here is what he told me to do.

How to Save a Severed Finger for Re-Attachment

Most of the time a severed finger can be re-attached if the finger is handled properly.  The first thing you want to do is of course tend to the person who was injured.  Wrap their hand up with some clean gauze or other cloth and apply a bit of pressure to control the bleading.  Then get them to the emergency room as soon as possible. 

Before heading to the emergency room quickly wrap the finger in gauze.  Then place the gauze wrapped finger in to a zip loc bag.  Zip the bag up very carefully.  Make sure it is completely closed.  Then get a bowl and add some water and ice to it to create an ice bath.  It should not be pure water or pure ice it should be a good combination of the two.  Place the baggie in the bowl and quickly proceed to the emergency room. 

What Not to Do

Do not put the finger directly in to ice.  This is true for any severed body part.  Placing a severed finger or any body part directly in to ice or ice water can cause damage to the skin and tissue.  So be sure to wrap up the part in something that is waterproof and then put it on the ice.  The ice is important because it will help preserve the body part but the excess moisture that it can get on it from placing it directly in ice or an ice bath can be damaging. 

Transporting Someone With A Severed Body Part

Keep in mind a few things when it comes to transporting the person to the emergency room. If you are more than 20 minutes from the hospital or live in a high traffic area it might be better to call an ambulance than to try to get to the hospital yourself.  If any major arteries have been severed call an ambulance right away.  If the person is in shock call an ambulance right away.  If the person is losing consiousness call an ambulance right away.  In minor cases you can just drive the person to the ER, but in any of the extreme cases mentioned above call an ambulance.  The worst thing that could happen is that you get caught in traffic or the person passes out as you are driving them to the hospital, of course having a person who is in shock or completely freaking out does not make for a safe drive.  So keep all of these things in mind when deciding weather or not to drive the person yourself or call an ambulance.

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Comments (3)

Wow, I hope you never have to use this procedure again. I think this article will help somebody at the right time. I will come back later and vote this up. Out of votes but tweeted and Google Buzzed.

great info thanks, I hope I will never have to do it though

Although I hope it never happens, thanks for the advice! Voted.

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