How to deal with a minor amputation

How to deal with a minor amputation

How to deal with a minor amputation

Minor amputation can be caused in a number of ways including:

  • Industrial accidents while working with certain equipment and tools
  • Assaults due to street fights (knife attacks), domestic violence
  • Car or vehicular accidents
  • Falling of heavy and sharp objects
  • Hands or fingers getting jammed in metal or heavy doors and windows


For the casualty these incidents can be very traumatic. The signs and symptoms of an amputation depend on the severity of the injury, but may include:

  • Severe emotional stress and trauma
  • Moderate to severe bleeding depending on the site and extent of injury
  • Shock
  • The amputation may be partial or complete (when the body part is completely detached from the body)
  • Mild, moderate, or severe pain; it is often seen that the pain may not be directly proportional to the severity of the injury


First Aid tips for Traumatic Amputations include:

  • Calling the emergency services on 999/112
  • Try to keep the injured individual calm and comfortable.
  • By applying direct pressure to the wound or injury, try to control the bleeding
  • Retrieve the severed body part and clean the severed end using water
    • Place it in a wet clean cloth and wrap it carefully
    • Following this, place the amputated part in a plastic bag and seal it
    • Keep the body part cool by placing the bag containing it in iced water or wrap it in a towel and put in a bag of ice
    • DO NOT put ice in direct contact with the body part.
  • Make the affected individual to lie down on and cover with a blanket and keep the legs slightly elevated (by about a foot / 30 cm)

Watch our video showing how to deal with a minor amputation


About The Author

Cory Jones

Cory is a graduate of the prestigious WEMSI school (Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician), and a qualified teached with a masters degree in Environmental Management. He has lead expeditions worldwide (currently an International Mountain Leader) and is a director of Outdoor First Aid Limited. Cory Jones has worked in the outdoor industry for over 30 years. He first ran first aid training courses for the Red Cross in 2001. Cory has been a provider for SQA, ITC, REC, Highfield, Open College Network over the years. In 2008 Cory set up First Aid Academy in the Lancashire area and won the ‘New Business of the Year 2008 Award’. By 2010 he was running nearly 250 first aid training courses a year. Today, Cory is a director of Outdoor First Aid Limited as well as being a founder of the First Aid Training Co-operative.