Finger Amputation: First Aid Measures

Finger amputation or amputation of any other part of a limb is a serious injury.

Re-implantation after finger amputation can be done provided the amputated finger is brought to the hospital timely and properly.

Here I will discuss the first aid and management for transportation of the severed part.

Of primary importance is the life of the patient. Before directing attention to the amputated part one should rule out the presence of other life threatening injuries. Once they are ruled out then attention can be directed to the amputated parts.

    1. Bleeding from the stump should be controlled with a pressure bandage.
    2. Ligatures and hemostats (forceps) should not be used as they can damage blood vessels and nerves making re implantation more difficult.
    3. If bleeding is not controlled by a pressure bandage a pneumatic tourniquet or blood pressure cuff can be used temporarily.
    4. The amputated part needs to be cooled to 4 degree centigrade for it's chances of maximum survival.
    5. After recovering the part it should be cleaned with saline or ringers solution (if none are available then mineral water will do).
    6. Following cleaning the part is covered with a sterile gauge soaked in saline or ringers solution.
    7. It is then kept in a sealed plastic bag.
    8. This plastic bag is kept in a ice box.
    9. Make sure that part the does not come in direct contact with the ice.
    10. Alcohol and formaldehyde should not be used to store the amputated part.
    11. If the part is incompletely severed then any kinking or twisting of the tissues should be corrected.
    12. The wound is then covered with a sterile bandage (clean cloth if no sterile bandage is available).
    13. A splint is applied to support the part.
    14. A ice pack is kept (not directly in contact with skin) on the part.

It you are in the middle of no where, then the best thing you can do is to wrap the amputated finger in a moist handkerchief and rush to the nearest hospital.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a pressure bandage applied?

Pressure bandage is a bandage applied with one or two circumferential turns around the limb followed by a cross over to the opposite side (like moving around the circumference of a circle then going along the diameter). This is repeated again and again with alternate layers of cotton and rolled bandage. Finally a elastic bandage is applied.

After how long can a amputated part be re implanted?

With muscular parts (such as hand and forearm) re implantation should begin within 6 hours if they are not cooled. This can be extended to 12 hours after cooling to 4 degree centigrade.

For parts with no muscle (fingers and toes) re implantation should begin within 8 hours if they are not cooled. This can be extended to 30 hours after cooling to 4 degree centigrade.

I hope the information provided was helpful. If you have any query about finger amputation, you can post at the contact me page.

This page was last updated on 13th March 2009.

Other causes of finger joint pain...

Trigger Finger



Glomus Tumor

Finger Fracture

Mallet Finger

Kirner Deformity

Swan Neck Deformity

Boutonniere Deformity

Bowlers Thumb

Thumb Dislocation

Go back from Finger Amputation to Finger Joint Pain


My compliments to you and your website. It provides the necessary knowledge and guide to bridge the gap caused by the bits of (mis)information given on most sites. Your website provides a short course on the subject. It not only guides the user, it also provides fundamental knowledge for researching the topic. Giving the user a remarkable and unmatched understanding of their topic. An ounce of knowledge makes for a better patient. I've been longing for a website such as yours. A website that is filled with information a layman can use. Its Not too complicated that it discourages the user.

Thank You for bridging the gap for me and for everyone else.

Daphane T.

Los Angeles, USA

I found your site very informative. Thank you!

Jeremy Verhines.

Jackson, Missouri, USA

Thank you for a most informative website!

Yara Eddine.


Thank you for taking the trouble to provide such a wonderfully informative and clear site.

Melanie Clough

NorthWest England

I am a third year pharmacy student from Canada. I want to say thanks for creating and maintaining this website. Your expertise and easy to understand explanations are helping to train the next generation of health care professionals across the world.


Toronto, Canada