immediate treatment

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • elevate the trauma site and cover with a thick saline-soaked dressing
  • wrap the amputated part in a sterile towel or plastic bag (eg a sandwich bag)
  • surround the bag with ice but prevent direct contact between ice and tissue
  • transport the bag with the patient to hospital urgently
  • emphasize to the patient that the decision to reimplant will be made by the admitting surgeons
  • tissues vary in viability when cold and ischaemic: fingers 6 hours hands 3-6 hours arms 3 hours