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Construction workers use dangerous tools to get their jobs done. Some have sharp components and others are heavy. Both can lead to traumatic amputations if there are any safety issues. It is imperative that workers use proper safety protocol when they are working with power tools and heavy equipment.

The construction company must ensure that everyone is properly trained and that the equipment is all in good shape. This can reduce the likelihood that a traumatic amputation will occur. If a worker does suffer this type of injury, prompt treatment, including appropriate first aid, is necessary.

What is a traumatic amputation?

A traumatic amputation occurs when an accident causes the loss of a body part. For construction workers, this is likely going to be a finger, toe, hand or leg. There are two types of traumatic amputations – partial or complete.

  • Partial amputation: Part of the connecting soft tissue remains but the bone is detached.
  • Complete amputation: One part of the body is completely removed from the rest of the body.

What first aid should be rendered?

The primary concerns when a person has a body part amputated must be ensuring that the person is breathing and as calm as possible. Another priority is controlling the bleeding. In most cases, direct pressure can help with this. Applying a tourniquet is a last-ditch effort to control the bleeding and must only be done in extreme emergencies as this can do more harm than good.

Once you are assured that the victim is cared for or if you have more people around, you can try to find the severed body part. If you can, try to remove any dirt or contaminates. The stump and severed part can be rinsed with clean water if possible.

Place the severed part of the body in a sealed plastic bag once you have wrapped it with a damp cloth. Put that sealed bag into another plastic bag with ice water. It is imperative that you don't allow the severed part to come into direct contact with ice or ice water. Direct contact can lead to frostbite.

If you don't have ice available at the job site, try to keep the severed part as cool as possible. Reattachment is only possible for around four to six hours if it isn't cooled.

What happens after the amputation?

The recovery process can take a while, whether the body part is reattached or not. The person won't be able to work during this time, but the bills won't stop. Workers' compensation can aid in getting medical bills covered and may be able to cover partial wage replacement.

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