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First, it is important to note that there are three types of amputations. There is an amputation, a congenital amputation and a traumatic amputation. We will be looking further into traumatic amputations, but it is important to have some knowledge of each type. Although all three involve the loss of a body part, usually a limb, they have distinctive characteristics that set them worlds apart.
Amputation: a surgery in which a body part is removed because it is useless or harmful to one’s health. This can result from disease or infection. This type of amputation is intentionally done to benefit the patient. Although professionals always strive to save a limb and restore it to proper functioning, this isn’t always feasible. In any case, an amputation is a last resort.
Congenital amputation: occurs while a fetus is still in the womb. This occurs when fibrous bands wrap around an extremity too tightly and cuts off circulation to the limb. As a result, the child is born without the body part.
Traumatic amputation: unplanned amputation as a result of an injury or accident in which the body part is completely severed. Below are some common accidents that may lead to a traumatic amputation:
The severity of a traumatic amputation is usually measured through the chances of reattachment. This crucial factor has a lot to do with the type of injury your loved one has experienced. Below are the two types of traumatic amputations:Partial: Most of the extremity has been severed, but it is still connected. In this case, there is an increased chance of reattaching the body part.
The emergency team will usually measure the severity of an amputation according to the Mangled Extremity Severity Score (MESS), a test which assigns numerical value to different factors of the survivor’s state. Professionals will take the following factors into account:
If your loved one scores a 7 or less there is a high chance the amputated limb can be re- attached.
This very question is the reason the Injury Co-op exists. In the following questions that arise during various stages following a traumatic amputation will be discussed. The most important thing to remember is that being proactive for yourself or your loved one following a catastrophic injury is the first step in taking back control of an out-of-control situation.