In case of a complete amputation, the body part can be reattached. The body part should be wrapped in a clean, damp cloth, placed in a sealed plastic bag, and the bag immersed in cold water (ice water if available). Cooling the severed body part will keep it alive for much longer than if it is at room temperature or warmer.
Review Date 9/8/2014
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.