- Do You Know What to Do if Someone Cuts Off a Finger?
- Why Are Finger Injuries so Painful?
- ‘Fixing’ Severed Fingers
- Ouch! Post-Traumatic Pain
- Steps to Take if Someone Amputates a Finger
- You Cut Your Finger, Now What?
- When You Should Go to a Physician for Your Finger Cut
- When to Go to the Urgency Room for Your Finger Cut:
- What should I do if I cut off a part of my finger?
- Finger Amputation
- Traumatic amputation
- Finger amputations – answers to the common questions
- Amputated Finger – what to do
Do You Know What to Do if Someone Cuts Off a Finger?
Rachel Berdichevsky’s precocious nature and natural curiosity tended to land her in the middle of every event in the house. On this particular day, Rachel – just 6 years old – was in the kitchen helping with the dishes. She thought she saw something drop down the drain. When her mother turned away for a second, Rachel quickly stuck her hand in the drain, cutting and amputating the tips of her index, middle and ring fingers.
Rachel’s parents took immediate action. They gathered the amputated parts, wrapped them in a wet paper towel, put them inside a plastic bag, and then put that bag on ice. In order to minimize the consequences of these severe injuries, that’s what you should do in an amputation emergency:
Why Are Finger Injuries so Painful?
Pain is often the immediate concern when you’ve injured a finger, and finger injuries can be excruciatingly painful. From slamming your finger in a car door, to cutting yourself in the kitchen, they can really hurt and lead to chronic problems if the situation isn’t handled quickly, as Rachel’s parents did.
Pain with fingertip injuries may be related to the fact that fingers have many small nerves, or it could be causes by increased pressure in an enclosed space that results from injury and inflammation. An example of this would be a subungual hematoma, which is a collection of blood trapped underneath the nail. Pain may also result from direct trauma like a bruise or a cut, which can damage the nerves.
‘Fixing’ Severed Fingers
Fingertip amputations like Rachel’s can be very complicated to repair because fingers themselves are very intricate. Each finger has many structures: bones, three main tendons, two arteries, two main nerves, multiple veins, soft tissue, skin, and nails – just to name a few!
The technology that allows us to replant severed digits is called microsurgery, which Rachel had. Microsurgery helps surgeons repair the tiny structures inside your hand using specialized tools under high levels of magnification.
Imagine that you cut a straw in half, and then you had to put it back together. Except instead of simple sewing, like you would for a tear in your pants, you have to sew circumferentially; making sure that 1) the cut ends of the straw are now connected, and 2) fluid can move freely through it. Now picture that the entire diameter of that straw is less than 3 millimeters. That’s microsurgery.
Ouch! Post-Traumatic Pain
When fingertip injuries occur, after emergency evaluation, anesthesia is administered, often in the form of a nerve block. In this procedure, a local anesthetic is injected into the webspace where the finger meets the hand, numbing it before surgery.
Post-operatively, patients may experience pain as well, which is typical for the severity of this injury. Chronic pain may sometimes result from injuries that involve the small joints, or when the nerves regenerate abnormally. These painful conditions may require further treatment and even additional surgery long after the initial repair is performed.
Rachel’s injuries were not severe, but she had fractured some small bones in her fingertips, hurt her nail bed and injured her soft tissue, including a digital nerve. Her pain during and after the procedure was tolerable – surprisingly, children sometimes have a higher pain tolerance than their adult counterparts.
Thanks to her parents quick thinking, the microsurgical repairs, wound care, and some therapy, Rachel is now pain-free and enjoying life in the second grade.
Steps to Take if Someone Amputates a Finger
If you or someone you’re with cuts off a finger, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, you should:
- Elevate the injury
- Apply ice to reduce bleeding
- Cover the wound with a dry, sterile dressing
- Immobilize the hand and wrist with a splint
If you are in a remote area or missing supplies, splints can be made from virtually any material that will prevent the injured finger, hand, or wrist from moving – tape and a stick for example. Then gently clean the amputated part with sterile water, cover it in gauze wrap, put it in a watertight bag, and place that bag on ice. But don’t put the amputated part directly on ice, or you could further damage it!
Get to a doctor as soon as possible because it’s difficult to restore blood flow to an amputated finger after more than 12 hours.
Ari Mayerfield, MD, specializes in hand, upper extremity, and microsurgery. He is an assistant professor of surgery at New York Medical College in Valhalla, and an attending surgeon at Hudson Valley Hospital Center and the Westchester Medical Center. Dr. Mayerfield is particularly interested in conditions affecting the wrist and peripheral nerves of the arm. He lives in New York with his wife and three children.
Your hands are the most versatile tools you can imagine. They tie, type, zip, poke, grip, grab and hold onto everything within an arm’s reach. They handle nearly everything you interact with during the average day—including the more dangerous things. With your fingers being in everything from sand to water to laundry to cooking, cuts are bound to happen. What happens when you get one, though? What should you do when you get a more serious cut on your finger? Each Urgency Room through the Twin Cities is here to help you when you seriously wound your finger as well as when you experience a minor cut.
You Cut Your Finger, Now What?
Cutting your fingers can be a serious event and should be addressed immediately so to avoid developing an infection. Whether your finger has a small cut to a bigger gash, your first priority is to assess the wound and its severity. Is it a clean cut or a jagged tear? How deep is the cut? See exactly where the source of bleeding is stemming from and proceed from there. Remember, though, no matter how bad the cut, remain calm. A calm mind will be able to prioritize what needs to happen and focus on helping your cut.
Stop the Bleeding
The very first step to treating a cut finger is to stop the bleeding. One way to stop bleeding from a small, simple cut is to run it under cold water. This will help contract the blood vessels to slow bleeding. Another easy way to stop bleeding from any sort of wound is to apply firm and steady pressure to the cut. Make sure you use a clean cloth or piece of gauze—don’t grab the nearest dirty towel and apply it to your wound.
If your cut is particularly serious or bleeding heavily and the cloth you apply starts to become saturated with blood, don’t remove it—you risk removing whatever clot had started to form over the cut. Instead, place more clean cloth or gauze over the existing cloth or gauze. Consider wrapping it with more gauze or bandages until the bleeding subsides.
If you cut your finger in a way that a flap of skin is extending over the wound, don’t take it off. As tempting as it may be, removing that flap of skin may prolong your healing process. If you accidentally cut a portion of your finger off, make sure to place the severed portion in a clean plastic bag to bring with you to the doctor. If you can, pack the plastic bag in ice.
Clean Your Cut
While you may be tempted to, don’t use hydrogen peroxide, iodine or Mercurochrome. You may have seen your grandmother dump this stuff on even minor cuts in the past, but the truth is that hydrogen peroxide and iodine can cause tissue damage while Mercurochrome has high levels of mercury—all should be avoided.
Once the bleeding has subsided, remove the gauze or bandages and simply wash with water. If you wash with water and soap, ensure the soap is relatively mild and that you wash it out of the wound completely so to prevent irritation to your cut.
Bandage the Cut
Once the cut on your finger has stopped bleeding, been cleaned and dried, it’s time to dress the wound. To reduce the risk of infection and help numb any pain or swelling that you may be starting to feel, apply a small amount of an antibacterial cream. After that’s applied, cover your wound with a sterile bandage. Make sure to clean the wound and replace the bandage daily. Keep a close watch on your cut to make sure it’s healing properly. Depending on your age, your health and the severity of the cut, it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to fully heal.
When You Should Go to a Physician for Your Finger Cut
While the majority of minor cuts to your fingers can be cared for in your home, there are times when a cut should be seen by a physician. If a cut is especially large, deep, or resulted in part of your finger missing, head to your nearest Urgency Room to be seen quickly by caring and experienced physician.
When to Go to the Urgency Room for Your Finger Cut:
- The cut won’t stop bleeding
- Part of your finger has been cut off
- The area around the cut feels numb
- The area around the cut is swollen
- You can see the bone
- The edges of the cut are jagged or torn
- You notice infection or discharge developing in the days after cutting your finger
If you need to see a physician for a cut on your finger, come to your nearest Urgency Room. With convenient locations situated off of major highways running through the Twin Cities, coming to our Woodbury, Vadnais Heights or Eagan locations is an easy trip. Often times you’ll only wait a few minutes to be seen by our nurses and physicians, meaning you can be in an out in a fraction of the time when compared with your average waiting room stuffed with people. You can check out live waiting room times at each location here and decide how soon you want to be seen for your cut finger.
Each Urgency Room is owned and operated by the Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) and is staffed with highly qualified and experienced physicians, nurses and medical technicians. Check out our comprehensive medical services offered when you need it most. Each location is open 365 days per year, including holidays, from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. whether you cut your finger while cutting sandwiches for the kids’ lunches or carving the Thanksgiving turkey, The Urgency Room will be here when you need us for even your worst cuts on your fingers.
What should I do if I cut off a part of my finger?
Because this question says “part of my finger” I am assuming it’s not including bone or nail.
My father used to say, “If you’re using a power tool and you can’t see all your fingers all the time, then your fingers are on the floor.” I have said that to myself, without exception, every time I switch on a table saw or circular saw. The other machine I am always alert using is the jointer because the jointer will take off the tips of your finger so fast and so cleanly you won’t even notice – till you see the blood.
I own a set of dull Haenkel knifes. I bought them in 1990 and have had them sharpened once or twice but they no longer hold their edge. One thing about using dull knives on a regular basis is that you get used to the pressure and motion they require to cut something, like an onion or a bagel. Cutting bagels is one of the most dangerous things a home-owner can do and there are over 2000 serious bagel-cutting injuries annually. I visited a friend recently who asked me to cut up an onion. I casually took a knife out of his knife rack and started to cut – with the same pressure and motion I used at home. Only his knives were “chef quality” and the knife went through the onion as if it weren’t there – and through the index finger of my right hand. It was quick. I sliced part of the right tip off onto the counter.
Immediately, I picked up a dishrag and wrapped it while my friend got some gauze. We wrapped it up and duct-taped it after washing it a little. It throbbed fiercely. I didn’t even consider going to the emergency room. I left the guaze and duct tape on for three days. I removed it because the throbbing stopped and it was really inconvenient. Luckily, I am left handed. When I took the bandages off the skin around the wound was dried out and dead. The wound had kind of scabbed over. It was very, very sensitive to touch and hurt but it was no longer bleeding. Over the next few days the dead skin peeled off and new skin began to form over the wound. Eventually the wound was covered and healed and now there is a little dent in my finger. But I am using it to type this and while I can tell something is different, it does not hurt at all, even if I pound the keys. So my advice is, if you slice off the tip of your finger then you need to cover it up and leave it the hell alone for a few days unless you think the doctors can do something. If it’s a slice they are probably not going to be able to put the old skin back on – it will just dry up and fall off. Maybe they will give you a tetanus shot and bandage, and a big bill. For minor slices, I don’t think it’s even worth going to the doctor.
I am not a medical doctor and I am not going to give medical advice. If you chop off part of your finger including bone and nail then you need medical help from people who know what they are doing and that is not me. Anyone can put a band-aid on a minor cut and that’s all I’m recommending. More than that requires medical advice from people who know, not people like me who might think they know.
Digital amputation is a common injury with estimated 61,000 patients seen in emergency departments in the United States every year (Dubernard et al., 1999). These injuries often result in extensive functional disability and a substantial social and economic cost to the society. More importantly, the outcome of digital dysfunction is detrimental to patient’s daily activities, such as buttoning a shirt or unlocking a door. Therefore, the overall goal for these patients is to rebuild a finger with restoration of normal function, stability, length, and sensation. For sharp amputations where the removed digit is in a clean and fresh state, immediate re-implantation is considered the treatment of choice, which involves microsurgical anastomosis of nerves, blood vessels, bone, and tendon. Functional recovery is achievable if the blood supply to the distal portion is restored within hours and sensory/motor nerves are connected to the stump. The success rate for immediate digital re-implantation is reported to be up to 90% at specialized centers (Patradul et al., 1998).
Unfortunately, patients who are eligible for immediate digit re-implantation consist of only a small subset of the total cases. A more complex approach to digit reconstruction is needed for patients with congenital malformation, such as adactyly (missing digit), brachydactyly (short digit), ectrodactylia (reduced number of one or more digital rays), and cleft hands (extended division between the fingers) (Sandzen, 1985). Moreover, surgical re-implantation procedures are not feasible if the distal phalanx is unavailable or heavily damaged after a crush injury.
In patients with missing tissues, complex multiple stage surgeries are usually performed with the anticipation of limited functional outcome. The overall goal of functional restoration is to achieve a hand with opposable digits that permits a grip function and prehension. To achieve this goal, common practice is to amputate an entire finger from the other hand and re-implant onto the index position (autologous finger transfer) of the injured hand. Recently, toe-to-hand transfers have become a popular method to reconstruct a missing digit. However, this treatment is associated with possible impairment in foot stability, partial functional recovery of the hand, and poor cosmetic results. Due to the complexity of these procedures and poor outcome, many patients face amputation of their injured digit as the final treatment. This is especially true for soldiers in modern warfare where high energy weapons and improvised explosives are becoming more common. The injured digits are usually lacerated and not amenable to re-implantation. A recent report indicates that approximately 29% of all digit injuries in solders result in amputation (Jovanovic et al., 1999).
In cases where an entire hand has been amputated, whole hand transplants were performed successfully in a few patients (Dubernard et al., 1999). Administration of immunosuppressive drugs has extended the viability of the tissues for up to 7 years. However, most of these patients suffered from severe side effects including neuro- and nephro-toxicity. Further, the availability of donor limbs is extremely rare, and this approach has become controversial. Replacement of a single diseased joint with a non-vascularized autogenous joint transplant was studied previously (Campbell, 1963, 1972). While the transplanted articular cartilage remained in place initially, the delayed vascularization led to subchondral collapse and disintegration of cartilage tissue.
Prosthetic treatments are more common (Pereira et al., 1996). Unlike large limb prosthetics which are becoming increasingly advanced and functional, digit prostheses are primarily aimed toward improving cosmetic appearance. These prosthetic devices are often associated with complications, such as erosion, infection, and inflammation. Moreover, prosthetic devices are not suitable for pediatric or adolescent patients, as their tissues grow with age. Therefore, most patients decide not to wear the prosthesis, due to the lack of gain in function and its associated complications. Despite the rapid technological advances in medicine, treatment options for digit reconstruction are severely limited. Currently available modalities are involved with a prolonged treatment period, multiple stage surgeries, a lengthy rehabilitation process for a questionable restoration of normal function, and prostheses and surgery-associated complications.
Limitation of current treatment modalities for digit reconstruction and functional restoration has led investigators to pursue alternative therapeutic approaches. The concept of cell transplantation using tissue engineering techniques has been proposed as a method to improve, restore or replace tissue or organ function (Oberpenning et al., 1999; Yoo et al., 1999; Amiel et al., 2001; Kim et al., 2002, 2004; Kwon et al., 2002; Lanza et al., 2002; De Filippo et al., 2003; El-Kassaby et al., 2003; Falke et al., 2003; Yiou et al., 2003; Atala et al., 2006). The emergence of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies has presented alternative possibilities for the restoration of digit tissues. The ability to engineer physiological units comprised of bone, muscle, and connective tissue, with supporting vasculature and innervation, into functional appendages such as fingers and toes would be an evolutionary step toward the regeneration of missing limbs.
- Check the person’s airway (open if necessary); check breathing and circulation. If necessary, begin rescue breathing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), or bleeding control.
- Try to calm and reassure the person as much as possible. Amputation is painful and very frightening.
- Control bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound. Raise the injured area. If bleeding continues, recheck the source of the bleeding and reapply direct pressure, with help from someone who is not tired. If the person has life-threatening bleeding, a tight bandage or tourniquet will be easier to use than direct pressure on the wound. However, using a tight bandage for a long time may do more harm than good.
- Save any severed body parts and make sure they stay with the person. If possible, remove any dirty material that can contaminate the wound, then gently rinse the body part if the cut end is dirty.
- Wrap the severed part in a clean, damp cloth, place it in a sealed plastic bag and place the bag in an ice water bath.
- DO NOT put the body part directly in water without using a plastic bag.
- DO NOT put the severed part directly on ice. DO NOT use dry ice as this will cause frostbite and injury to the part.
- If cold water is not available, keep the part away from heat as much as possible. Save it for the medical team, or take it to the hospital. Cooling the severed part allows reattachment to be done at a later time. Without cooling, the severed part is only good for reattachment for about 4 to 6 hours.
- Keep the person warm.
- Take steps to prevent shock. Lay the person flat, raise the feet about 12 inches (30 centimeters), and cover the person with a coat or blanket. DO NOT place the person in this position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected or if it makes the victim uncomfortable.
- Once the bleeding is under control, check the person for other signs of injury that require emergency treatment. Treat fractures, additional cuts, and other injuries appropriately.
- Stay with the person until medical help arrives.
Finger amputations – answers to the common questions
Details Category: Blog Created: 07 February 2017
If you have a tendency to look at people’s hands when you meet them or pass them in the street like I do, then you may have noticed we all have different hands and may have experienced an injury. Amputated fingers are a common injury, unfortunately. We answer some of the common questions here.
What is an amputation?
Partial finger amputations are very common. They can occur at any level in the finger and can result from a number of different things including:
- Trauma- such as circular saw, chainsaw, sharp knives etc
- Tumour removal
- Surgical amputation to improve function following a previous finger injury
How have the surgeons closed my finger?
In all cases the surgeon will try to save as much of the finger as possible to ensure the best functional outcome. The surgeon will also consider the resulting sensation or feeling that you will receive in your new fingertip.
Sometimes the skin will be long enough to close directly over the bone. In other cases, the surgeon may use a flap of skin, arteries and nerve from other parts of the hand to close the finger. Other times, the wound can be left to heal itself with the use of appropriate dressings that facilitate healing of the open area.
What will hand therapy involve?
After your surgery it is strongly recommended that you attend hand therapy. The hand therapist will provide you with the following:
- Wound care
- Oedema management
- Scar management
- Protective splinting while wound is healing if required
- Exercise program to ensure the best functional outcome for your hand
- Strategies to improve the appearance of the new finger tip
- Strengthening program
- Desensitisation program
- Sensory retraining
How long until I can use my finger?
Light functional use of your finger is often encouraged as soon as your wounds are on track to healing. This will help to prevent joint stiffness and hypersensitivity of your new tip. Remember to take the advice of your therapist prior to commencing functional use.
Will I gain feeling back in the end of my finger?
The aim of surgery is to provide you with the best possible chance at regaining feeling and function in your finger. It can take months for your finger tip to gain sensation back. Some people do not regain full feeling in their finger.
As the new nerves grow they send mixed messages to your brain. This can be disturbing or painful for people. Hand therapy can offer advice about how to settle the sensitivity and help to regain normal feeling.
What else should we be aware of?
We see many clients each year with amputations. These can range from losing the tip of a finger, losing a whole finger, or losing more than one finger on the hand. It can be distressing and we find that often people have flashbacks about the injury, or find it hard adjusting to their new look. We encourage people in this situation to talk to their therapist, family, or doctor about how well they are coping.
If you come across someone with an amputation, be mindful to how they may be adjusting to their injury.
Amy Geach, Occupational Therapist
Dr. Miller: Hi I’m Dr. Tom Miller and I’m here with Dr. Andrew Tyser. He is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand surgery and also microvascular surgery of the hand. Andy, talk to us a little bit about what types of hand trauma you see in your practice.
Dr. Tyser: Hand trauma is unfortunately a pretty common thing to happen to people. It turns out the hands are the way you interact with environment in many different walks of life, on the job, for play, and sometimes just randomly things that happen to your hands. In that case, sometimes the trauma can range from fairly common, simple fractures of the fingers to fairly severe, even loss of fingers and thumbs and things like that.
Dr. Miller: And you mostly see these in perhaps automotive accidents or industrial accidents.
Dr. Tyser: We do. I think most commonly for very severe hand trauma, for instance if you were to lose fingers or a hand, that’s involving industrial type accidents, or people working with table saws in their own garage.
Dr. Miller: So if one is to lose a finger or even a thumb, which would be a catastrophic loss, you can re-attach those at times.
Dr. Tyser: We can, at times. It’s for select indications as we say. So not every single person is a perfect candidate to have their finger put back on, depending on where it’s cut off or the mechanism. However, that’s the first consideration that we have here at the university is we try to put things back on when able.
Dr. Miller: Let’s say that a patient or a person cuts off that finger by mistake using a table saw, while they’re trying to build a table in their garage. What do they need to do? Do they need to put the finger on ice, I mean we see in the movies and all the TV shows about ER, what steps should they take if that thumb is to be saved or that finger is to be saved? What do you recommend?
Dr. Tyser: That’s a great question. I think the first thing that patients in that situation should do is make sure that they have their bleeding controlled, either with a pressure dressing, or having even a little tourniquet on their finger because we don’t want them to lose too much blood and compromise everything else.
The second thing is trying to find the parts. Sometimes if it happens with a table saw, it actually can kind of fly off into the saw dust or something like that, and we want them to find the part, and surprisingly, people will sometimes come to the emergency room without the part and then it’s pretty hard to put it back on.
Dr. Miller: If they do find the part or the digit that has been amputated, what do they bring it to the emergency room in? Should they put it on ice or cool water, put it in a plastic bag, or does that even make a difference?
Dr. Tyser: Yeah, great question. We have a recommendation. We’re not sure how much of a difference it makes. I think the main thing is finding the part and bringing it with you. But we typically tell people to put it in a soft kind of damp rag or gauze if you have it, and then put that inside of a plastic bag and then that bag inside of another plastic bag that has ice inside of it so to keep it cool.
Dr. Miller: What is the likelihood of success of reconnecting the amputation? Is there a time limit to that? Is, I suppose the type of trauma related to whether that’s successful or not?
Dr. Tyser: Yeah, that’s a great question and it’s one we’re commonly asked, and we tell them the same thing, which is please come as soon as you can. Ideally be within about eight hours to have the best results. I think the overall success rate really varies in the literature if you critically look at it. However, most recently with relatively large level-1 academic centers involved with the studies, it’s about a 50:50 chance of making it work.
Dr. Miller: Now fortunately, these types of accidents, these amputation accidents are more rare than they were maybe 15 years ago.
Dr. Tyser: Yeah, I think that’s true. It’s something we talk about in hand surgery. It’s kind of as a consequence of the loss of lot of industrial jobs in the United States unfortunately, and also a consequence of the increased occupational standards that we have in America. I think that in general that we see less amputations of fingers and hands and things like that.
Dr. Miller: Now that’s not the only problem or injury that people have to their hands, crush injuries, degloving injuries, could you talk about those a little bit, and actually what would be the most common injury that you would see in a hand injury?
Dr. Tyser: We talked about table saws a little bit earlier and the table saw injury right around Christmas time in particular when people are making things for the family, unfortunately it’s kind of a sad story when that happens. However, table saws typically don’t actually cut off the finger completely. They just damage it pretty significantly.
That is very common. Using knives for cooking and other things when people accidentally slip and cut their fingers and many times can lacerate either tendons or nerves or arteries or all of the above. Those are common.
Dr. Miller: What do you see in automotive accidents?
Dr. Tyser: In automotive accidents, we call that more typically blunt trauma and that’s typically fractures due to things like crushes or high-energy impacts.
Dr. Miller: Are those difficult to repair?
Dr. Tyser: They can be. They can be very complicated. At times it’s not just the bones that are fractured but it’s also the soft tissues that are injured around the bones and that can lead to need for not just one surgery but sometimes multiple, depending on the severity of the injury.
Dr. Miller: It sounds like if you have a hand trauma you need to get to an emergency department as quickly as possible and then obviously if you amputate a digit, you need to try to recover that digit, prepare it as you suggested, and then bring that to the emergency department in the hopes it could be reattached microscopically.
Dr. Tyser: Yeah, I think that’s very accurate. And I think we have a very well-run trauma unit here at the University of Utah, staffed by hand surgeons who are very comfortable with all sorts of trauma and it’s part of our job that we actually really enjoy restoring function to people’s hands, if possible.
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Amputated Finger – what to do
What to do if someone cuts their finger off!
Amputated tips of fingers and toes are very common injuries and with the right initial First Aid treatment, they can very often be successfully re-attached.
If part of a finger is amputated, the priority is to look after the child. Sit them down, reassure them and grab a cloth to apply direct pressure to the stump, elevate the injured hand above the level of the heart. Do not worry about the amputated part, until bleeding has been controlled and the child is calmer.
Pick up the finger, do not wash it. Wrap it in a cloth, put this in a plastic bag and then put on an ice pack. Do not let the ice come directly into contact with the amputated part as it will cause ice burns and mean that the finger will not be able to be sewn back. You are chilling, not freezing the amputated part to prevent it decomposing. Transport the child and amputated finger to hospital, if necessary by ambulance.
If the finger is still partly attached with a blood supply, bandage the severed part carefully in situ, not too tightly, support and elevate the hand and call an ambulance.
If fingers are crushed and bruised, but there is no amputation, run the damaged area under cool running water for 10 minutes, then apply a wrapped ice pack, elevate the injured hand and seek medical advice.
Written by Emma Hammett for First Aid for Life
It is strongly advised that you attend a Practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit firstaidforlife.org.uk for more information about our courses.
First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.