Some of the most traumatic workplace injuries in North Carolina involve amputations. Most drastically, these can happen to entire limbs, but there are also many cases where fingers and toes are amputated. The risk of this often differs depending on the industry—for example, someone working with hydraulic presses or heavy cutting machinery may be at much higher risk than someone working in a clothing factory, though amputations could happen in either setting.
Now, one of the first things many people want to know is if they’ve lost the digit forever or if it can be reattached. To determine this, the nursing staff has to look at a few key factors.
Perhaps most importantly, the way that the amputation happened plays a huge role. A clean cut—such as that made by a saw blade—is called a guillotine injury. The odds of reattaching a finger that has been quickly and cleanly severed are higher than other types of injuries.
The other main type of amputation is known as a crush injury. This can happen in a car accident or another scenario where two heavy objects come together. For crush injuries, reattachment is less likely because the damage to the flesh, bone and tissue around the cut can be so extensive. This can make it impossible for it to be connected or to regenerate properly.
Another huge factor is time. If a person is taken to a medical center in minutes, the odds of reattachment are much better, as the digit will still be well preserved.
If you’ve lost a body part in a workplace injury, you must know what rights you have to compensation, as the impact—even when it can be reattached—can last a lifetime.
Source: Modern Medicine, “Trauma nursing: Amputatio,” Lisa Walke, Darla Annonio and Amy S. Clontz, accessed Oct. 29, 2015