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What to Do if Your Finger is Cut Off

February 14, 2006 | 25,695 views

Accidents do happen, and in the tragic event that one or more of your fingers is severed, knowing what to do can make the difference between saving or losing your digit.

You usually have between six and 12 hours to have the finger reattached, so acting fast is essential. As soon as an accident occurs, you should:

  • Gather all parts of the severed finger, no matter how small. The surgeon may need them.
  • Keep the finger and any parts cold with ice and wrap it in plastic wrap. Direct contact with the ice could potentially give the blood vessels freezer burn and make reattachment difficult.
  • Place the finger in a jar or cup with lid.
  • Do not put it in water, as this will cause it to shrivel.
  • Call an ambulance and/or get to the emergency room as quickly as possible.

"Replanting" surgeries can be very successful if these steps are followed (as long as there is not extensive damage to the muscles). In fact, a 62-year-old woman recently had six of her fingers sliced off in a work accident.

Surgeons were able to reattach all of her fingers after a 17-hour operation -- this was the first time so many fingers have been reattached in one procedure.




Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Acute traumas are one of the few valid applications of conventional medicine, and restoring severed digits and even limbs, is an amazing example of how far modern surgery has advanced.

The problem of course, occurs when conventional medicine seeks to use these techniques for 99 percent of the chronic degenerative diseases that affect nearly each and every one of us -- and then it is a miserable failure.

Home accidents are responsible for more unintentional fatal injuries than any other cause except motor vehicle accidents.

As the article indicates, quick thinking and appropriate steps can reduce the damage a serious accident causes. But accidents are often caused by human error, and they typically could be prevented in the first place.

Here are a few other tips to help you avoid some of the most common household tragedies:

  • Falls -- Exercise gives you balance and strength, increasing your survival reflexes.
  • Poisonings -- Common household products often are toxic chemicals. Keep them out of reach of children and away from food stuffs. Keep activated charcoal within reach, just in case
  • Fire -- Make sure your smoke alarms are functioning and check the house for fire hazards.
  • Suffocation/Choking -- Watch infants and small children around common items -- pillows, balloons, plastic bags and telephone cords
  • Drowning -- Pay attention. Most drowning incidents occurred while one or both parents were supervising the child. In 69 percent of all cases, the parents didn't expect the children to be near the pool, yet the child was found in the water.


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