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Be Your Own EMT

Fast fixes for 10 common (or freak) accidents.

Lose a Limb (or suffer a serious cut)

Your mother told you to keep your arms inside the car, but you just wouldn’t listen, would you? If part of you ends up on the highway or anywhere else but securely attached to your person, your first concern is to stop the bleeding. “You can live without an arm or leg, but if you hemorrhage, you’ll die,” Kudrath says.

● AFTER CALLING 911, apply direct pressure to the wound (or just above the wound) using a clean cloth or towel.
● Stay calm. The hormones released as part of the body’s fight-or-flight response to stress also increase blood flow, which you don’t want.
● If the cloth soaks through, use another on top of it rather than pulling it off the wound.
● If bleeding won’t stop and help is far away, apply a tourniquet just above the wound. “Tourniquets are very serious,” says Kudrath. “When you put one on, you’re effectively saying, ‘I’m choosing life over limb,’ because any tissue below a tourniquet will die without blood flow.”
● Collect the severed limb. Wrap it in plastic and put it in a chest with ice. Don’t put it directly on ice—that could cause frostbite; nor should you try to preserve it in ice water, as that can make reattachment more difficult.

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