Accidents Happen: A Quick Guide to a Table Saw Worst-Case Scenario

Here are some tips on what to do immediately after a table saw injury, just in case.

November 16, 2015

This is a sidebar to our exclusive feature on flesh-sensing technology and what it means to the remodeling industry. Click here to read the main story.

Remodelers spend a lot of time working around power tools, which increases the odds of an accident. In the event that one or more of your fingers are severed, knowing what to do can mean the difference between successful reattachment or losing the body part. Here are some guidelines:

Control the bleeding

Place direct pressure on the wound and elevate it above the heart. Bleeding may be minimal or severe depending on the location of the cut. 


Collect all severed parts

Although surgeons don’t generally reattach sections smaller than the length of a fingernail, bring all pieces to the hospital for evaluation. 

Carefully rinse the finger

The goal here is to gently remove bacteria. Don’t scrub or brush—it could cause further damage. 

Preserve the amputated pieces

First, wrap the severed section in gauze dampened with cold water. If no gauze is available, a paper towel will work. Place the wrapped appendage in a Ziploc bag and immerse the bag in ice water. Never put a severed body part in direct contact with ice or water, as this will cause the flesh to shrivel. 

Keep the finger with its owner

It’s easy for people to get separated on the way to the hospital, and since the clock is ticking on replantation, it’s a good idea to know where the body part is at all times.

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