How bad is amputation?
September 25, 2012 4:00 PM Subscribe
How likely is it that someone who has just amputated the end of their pinky finger will go into "shock?"
posted by GoingToShopping to Health & Fitness (49 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So I was watching a friend play a video game the other day, where the character was in a Saw-like situation: he had to amputate a part of a finger in order to save the life of his son. He took a swig of alcohol, used a sterilizing fluid on his finger, got a tool to cauterize the wound, and lopped the tip of his pinky finger off with a knife and sealed the wound.
An unknown amount of time later, but probably not any more than 30 minutes, another character showed up, and he had great difficulty escaping from the police, who had surrounded the building and were coming in to arrest him for a crime he hadn't committed. By great difficulty, I mean "could barely walk or stand up or move in any reasonable fashion."
Given that he had not lost a significant amount of blood, was not injured anywhere other than his pinky, and that people routinely amputate parts of their body either for fun or survival and then go through great physical duress, the depiction of him being that weak seemed a bit implausible to me. After looking up the various kinds of actual shock, and then looking up "acute stress reaction" on wikipedia, I was more convinced that it was a dramatic representation, not a realistic one. I've broken two toes and walked around on them for hours before bothering to see a doctor.
Are there any doctors out there who can weigh in on this? With a prepared, intentional self-amputation, given about 30 minutes or so and proper motivation/adrenaline, would it be reasonable to expect him to walk more than ten feet in ten seconds or be able to stand up by himself?