Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

Loading

Severed or Constricted Limbs or Digits

By

Amy H. Kaji

, MD, PhD, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
Click here for the Professional Version
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version

Body parts such as fingers and toes can become severed (amputated). Also, tissue may die because blood flow has been cut off by rings or other constricting devices. Rings sometimes cut off blood flow when parts of the body near the ring swell, often as the result of an injury.

Amputated body parts, if properly preserved, can sometimes be reattached in the hospital. To prolong tissue life, the severed part should be put in sterile gauze or a damp paper towel or washcloth and then placed inside a sealed, dry plastic bag. The bag should then be put in another bag or container with water and ice. Dry ice should not be used. The severed part should not be placed directly in water.

An injured finger will probably swell. Thus, if a ring is on an injured finger, it should be removed as soon as possible, before swelling develops. Similarly, any other object that encircles a body part must be removed before the body part swells. Sustained, gentle traction can be used to remove rings. Soap and water may reduce friction, easing removal. Otherwise, prompt medical care is needed.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read

Also of Interest

Videos

View All
How to Treat the Choking Conscious Infant
Video
How to Treat the Choking Conscious Infant
3D Models
View All
Thorax
3D Model
Thorax

SOCIAL MEDIA

TOP