Proper handling of an amputated body part can preserve it for possible reattachment. Cooling the part reduces its metabolic rate and retards bacterial proliferation.



(1) Rinse the body part with sterile saline or lactated Ringer's solution to remove gross debris.

(2) Wrap the part in a sterile gauze made moist with sterile saline or lactated Ringer's solution.

(3) Place the part in a water-tight plastic container that is placed into a second container with wet ice (slurry of crushed ice and water).

(4) Be sure containers are properly labeled with the patient's name and other identifying information.

(5) Transport the patient and part as quickly as possible to a facility with expertise in reattachment procedures.



(1) Do not place the part in direct contact with ice or allow it to freeze.

(2) Do not use dry ice or other coolants.

(3) Do not spend a lot of time trying to clean the amputated part.


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