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Amputations
Amputations

Amputations

Although there is a higher risk of amputation injury in climbing than in other alpine sports, it nevertheless remains a rare occurrence.

Step 1: Assess accident circumstances

From monos and various jamming techniques to the extreme danger of getting caught accidentally in a protection device: There are many hazards that can cause avulsion injuries should you lose a foothold on the rock face. Fingers are particularly at risk, since they are unable to take the weight of the entire body in the event of an unanticipated fall. 

Step 2: Apply pressure dressing

The primary job of the first responder in the event of an amputation injury is to assist the accident victim. The first responder should reassure the person and cover the injured area with a pressure dressing. It is essential to wear disposable gloves when applying the dressing.

A pressure dressing should be applied immediately, even if the open wound does not initially bleed heavily. Severe bleeding often doesn’t start immediately. 

Step 3: Make a sling

Once the dressing has been applied, the arm can be placed in a sling for protection and warmth.

Step 4: Make amputated part ready for transport

The amputated body part (e.g. severed finger) should be kept dry and wrapped in a sterile compress and placed in a waterproof pouch (e.g. a disposable glove) tied with a knot. This pouch should then be placed inside a second larger container (e.g. another disposable glove), which should be filled with cold water or ideally ice if available.

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