Trauma First Aid Training: Traumatic Amputation Injuries

Trauma First Aid Training: Traumatic Amputation Injuries

October 29, 2021

Trauma injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, which is why we cannot underestimate the need for thorough first aid training. It pays dividends to ensure you’re prepared for an emergency physical trauma injury and treat it whenever possible, as it could be pivotal in preserving life for the casualty.

Learning first aid skills, techniques and principles from recognised course providers like Advanced Tactical Resources give you the immersive practical, scenario-driven experience to reinforce theory and textbook knowledge. You will never know how to properly administer and deliver first aid to a casualty without proper training. One such example where this training is essential is when a traumatic amputation injury occurs.

What is a Traumatic Amputation?

Amputation refers to the removal of body parts. There may be planned amputations following complications with diabetes or even following an RTC (road traffic collision). In these cases, amputations are necessary.

Whether a complete or partial amputation, they should only be carried out by medical professionals with recognised training and experience. 

However, in some instances, a body part can be reattached following a traumatic injury. This depends entirely on: 

  • The entirely or partially removed body part
  • The condition it is/was in
  • The time which has elapsed since the amputation and when first aid care was given
  • The general health of the casualty

What to Do if You See a Traumatic Amputation

First and foremost, you should not attempt to reattach any body parts yourself, as this could further endanger the casualty. However, if you are first on the scene, you have a vital role to play that can prove instrumental in preserving the individual’s life.

Call the Emergency Services

Most importantly, you should call an ambulance, but they may explain you need to take action in events of life-threatening or major trauma. As you wait for the emergency services to arrive, there are some other steps you may need to take.

Stop the Bleeding

  • If possible, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Elevate the injured or affected area while the person lays down still, if possible.
  • Don’t reposition the casualty if they’ve suffered leg, back, neck or head trauma. Take the same approach if there are broken bones.
  • Apply steady pressure to the wound. If there’s an object in the wound, apply pressure around it, rather than directly on it.
  • Apply another covering on the wound if there is excessive blood loss.
  • Use a compression bandage or tourniquet if the bleeding is particularly severe. These can help the bleeding stop if a cloth doesn’t suffice. You can find these in a trauma first aid kit which we sell via our shop.

Check for and Treat Shock

  • If you can get the trauma patient to lie down, raise their feet about 30cm.
  • Cover them with a blanket, coat, jacket or anything similar to preserve body heat.
  • Again, do not move or reposition them if they’ve suffered a neck, leg, back or head injury.

Clean and Protect the Wound

  • Wrap or cover the injured area with a sterile dressing or clean cloth if you have access to these materials. A stocked first aid kit should have dressings and other essentials to ensure the wound doesn’t get infected.

Recover Amputated Body Part 

If an accident results in complete amputation, where the body part is completely severed, sometimes it can be reattached. This is often the case when proper care is given to the severed part, the stump and residual limb.

  • Rinse with clean water to remove debris or dirt without using chemicals, soap, or cleaning products.
  • Ideally, place it in a clean bag or waterproof container, and put it on ice. 
  • Give this to the paramedics or the doctors when you arrive at the hospital.

With partial amputations, some soft-tissue connection remains. Depending on the injury’s severity, the partially severed extremity could potentially be reattached or not. If the amputation is partial, elevate the injured area, wrap it with a sterile dressing or clean cloth and apply steady pressure.

When medical attention arrives, you should ensure you give them as much help and assistance as possible.

Trauma First Aid Training Courses

If you don’t know how to treat trauma injuries, you will benefit significantly from one of Advanced Tactical Resources’ bespoke, scenario-based first aid courses. We offer a variety of first aid training, from the 1-day Emergency First Aid at Work course and the 3-day First Aid at Work course to specific courses on road traffic accidents, FPOS-I, FREC and paediatric first aid. 

To find out more, please get in touch with Advanced Tactical Resources today.

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