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What should I do if someone's finger has been amputated?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
If a fingertip has been amputated, it's crucial to get to the ER immediately. Take steps to preserve the amputated fingertip by wrapping it in moist gauze or cloth, placing it in a plastic bag, and then putting that plastic bag inside another bag that is filled with ice. It's very important that the fingertip not come in direct contact with the ice, just be kept cold. For the injured hand, apply pressure with a large gauze or towel, and have the person hold their hand above the height of their heart.  
Call 911. Apply direct pressure and elevate the hand. If the amputated finger is contaminated, rinse the tip and wrap it in a cool wet cloth, then put it in a bag and submerge the bag in cold water. (This answer provided for NATA by the California University of Pennsylvania Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.