Reality star and former Mr. Sandra Bullock, Jesse James,
accidentally chopped off the tip of his right pinky in a shop accident in his garage in Austin, Texas. What happened was that his glove got caught in one of the machines in his motorcycle shop and took the finger off with it. He and his wife looked around the floor for the piece of finger so they could put it on ice and bring the amputated finger with him to the hospital. When they got to the hospital, James was treated but doctors told him that his finger could not be reattached.
It is fairly common to injure the fingertips whether at home, work or play. These accidents can occur while chopping vegetables, closing car doors, handling lawnmowers and many more scenarios. Injuries almost always usually cause damage to the skin, soft tissues, bone, nail and nail bed. Oftentimes, the tips of the longer fingers tend to be injured due to their location. Additionally, they are usually the last to escape from harm’s way.
First aid treatment should be given right away in order to prevent further hand damage. First aid training is offered by many organizations and institutions such as St Mark James. Without proper first aid, a fingertip injury may lead to disruption of complex function of the hand due to the abundant number of nerves in the fingertips. If proper action is not given right away, the outcome may be deformed and disabled hands.
When the amputation occurs, immediately call for emergency medical services. Calm and comfort the casualty. If there are symptoms for shock, treat the casualty for shock. Make the casualty comfortable by either sitting or lying down. Direct pressure should be applied to the wound. Raise the injured digit above heart level. If the pressure point is known, apply direct pressure in that area only if necessary. If the bleeding persists, recheck the source of bleeding. Reapply direct pressure.
It may be easier to use constriction bandage or tourniquet in place of the compressing pressure points if the casualty is suffering from grave bleeding. However, it must be noted that this should only be done in cases of severe bleeding because applying a tourniquet may endanger reattachment of the finger. After the bleeding ceases, cover the wound with a sterile bandage to prevent bacteria from entering. If first aid materials are not available, a moist handkerchief may be used.
Recover the amputated finger and use a clean cloth to pick it up and gently clean the amputated digit with water. If saline solution is present, use this instead. Cover in gauze and place in a watertight bag leaving some air inside to create an air cushion. Submerge the bag with the amputated digit inside a cold bucket filled with water and ice cubes. The amputated digit should not be placed directly in ice to avoid further damage. Give to the paramedics the amputated digit. Check and monitor for signs of shock and normal breathing. Once the bleeding has been treated, check for other injuries.