Would you amputate a limb if it meant you would live another day?

Discussion in 'General Q&A' started by OursIsTheFury, Jun 17, 2016.

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  1. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Expert Member
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    You are stuck in the wilderness, no end in sight, and you have a gangrenous foot that would probably kill you before you can find a doctor than can heal it from the infection. You are in a mountain top, through the snowy peaks, and you somehow managed to get your whole arm stuck in a crevice, and you will most likely freeze to death before the sun comes up, if you don't do anything. What do you do now? Do you die with a full body intact, or will you risk removing a limb on your own, with no surgical equipment, and hope that it would delay your sentence long enough to get to civilization? What do you do?
     
  2. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member
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    The situation you have described is certainly a rock and hard place. I'd probably try to heal myself with natural remedies, because the risks of dying from amputation or causing the infection to spread through the open wound is too great. I'd rather not lop off my own foot and die alone, on a frozen mountain.

    Though, I don't think you can get gangrene in the cold, can you? I think it'd be too cold for bacteria. Frostbite's more likely.
     
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  3. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I know this has been done for real at least once, but I don't think its a reality for most people.
     
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  4. John Snort

    John Snort Well-Known Member
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    Most people would rather die than try to cut of a limb because of the pain. To be honest even if you were brave enough to chop off your arm or foot you could still bleed to death. Unless I had something like a sharp machete that would get the job done at one blow I wouldn't attempt to cut off a limb using a knife.
     
  5. Arboreal

    Arboreal Active Member
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    I don't think the odds are good for person trying this on themselves, back when surgery was less advanced amputations were often lethal even when carried by atrained professional. And except for the toughest, most people risk they will faint after the cut and then bleed to death.

    I'm quite sure our bodily temprature is enough for the vacteria to do their nasty thing, so short of getting a frostbite, one would still risk getting gangrene.
     
  6. Toast

    Toast New Member
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    Isn't this the premise of that one movie, 127 hours? Either way, I think it's obvious you go for cutting your limb off. Survival means survival at any cost, choosing to accept your fate without trying anything isn't survival. There's a high chance it'll be the most agonizing thing you ever live through, but the point is you might get to live through it. A little pain is worth upping your chance of survival from 0%. I would say that in almost any case. Of course, I think the best action is to never get yourself in such a situation in the first place.
     
  7. crmeche2

    crmeche2 New Member
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    I agree with you about never getting yourself in the situation in the first place. Part of survival is learning to avoid pitfalls. Yet, strange situations do occur, and I feel that you need to be mentally prepared to do what it takes to survive, even if that means cutting off a limb.
     
  8. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I have no idea whether or not I could amputate. My feelings right now are to say no, not a chance, but if I were in that situation my mind would be looking at all the options & I well may feel at that time that I could do it. I was taught how to do this, but I hope I never have to.
    Keith.
     
  9. rickymuus

    rickymuus New Member
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    This is a difficult decision to make. To survive you have to cut off the limb but at the same time some things are easier said than done. I don't think I would be able to handle the pain without anesthesia or anybody for that matter. That only leaves me with one option; to pray and wait.
     
  10. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    If that would happen to me, I don't think I have the courage to amputate a finger much more a limb. Maybe the most I can do it to find another way. For a gangrenous foot, I would surely be trying different leaves and even grass as a salve that may somehow delay the onset of gangrene. With the arm stuck in a crevice, for sure I couldn't detach it from my body. By the way, there are cases where the person dies of amputation largely due to blood loss. So in that survival situation we can leave it to God.
     
  11. Destiny

    Destiny Member
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    Well, most people would go into shock and bleed to death. But, there are some people who have survived amputating their own limbs. Like, in the James Franco movie.
     
  12. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    This thread makes me recall the story of a climber whose limb was crushed by a boulder and he was not able to move or extricate himself. He faced the stark choice of either severing it or being crushed to death. He cut it off with a knife to end the odyssey. I would follow this kind of common sense. I can actually decide to lose all limbs if it means I would see another day. Disability is not inability.
     
  13. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I think most people would bleed to death so its a big no from me.
     
  14. Bonzer

    Bonzer New Member
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    I don't think you can stand the pain from cutting off your limb. It would send horrible and incessant pain signals to thalamus which could establish a central nervous system shock. Cutting off the limb would also cut off femoral vein which would result in unstoppable bleeding. The best way is to try some medicinal plants in the vicinity.
     
  15. harper

    harper Active Member
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    I would. I'd cut any limb off if it means surviving; however, if by cutting off a limb, I'd have to deal with blood loss and all the ghastly stuff that may come from unclean operations, I might have to try and survive harsh conditions with a dying, bleeding, infected limb, and then get it removed by a real doctor once I'm rescued.

    I might operate on myself only if the amputation meets the following conditions:
    • Cutting off said limb won't cause me to bleed to death;
    • If I have the right tools to make a clean, painless cut;
    • If I have disinfectants on hand (when I go hiking, I carry with me a small first aid kit);
    • If my chances of survival after cutting of a limb is above 50%
    • And if I know I can live without the limb. For example, chances are high I'll keep my left hand rather than my right hand because I'm right handed, and I can't be bothered to learn how to become ambidextrous. If my right hand gets stuff between a rock and a hard place, I will probably try to save it. If my left hand gets stuck anywhere, even between the doors of an elevator, you bet I'd probably cut it off :p
     
  16. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I wouldn't attempt it unless your a surgeon or a butcher:rolleyes:
     
  17. harper

    harper Active Member
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    I may or may not be a masochist ;)
     
  18. Endure

    Endure Expert Member
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    You people really like to imagine pretty rough situations :confused:. Anyway, that situation is rather similar to what Aron Ralston did when his arm got trapped within a boulder after a climbing accident. He was at the bottom of a dark, cold chasm, hundreds of feet beneath the Utah desert. What should have been an enjoyable afternoon’s exploration of this remote canyon had turned into a disaster when he dislodged a huge boulder, which then fell on him, pinning him to the rock wall by his forearm and hand, imagine the pain and adrenaline rush. If you've seen the movie 127 hours, then you probably already know how was
    the his story and how He managed to survive.
     
  19. My3Sons_NJ

    My3Sons_NJ New Member
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    I would like to think that I would be able to endure the pain and stay conscious while I am attempting to amputate my limb but, if my right arm was trapped, I'd be royally screwed. My left arm isn't nearly as precise and I'd probably do so much damage in performing the attempted amputation that I'd die due to the botched operation anyway.
     
  20. Moroccanbeauty2266

    Moroccanbeauty2266 Active Member
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    This would be a scary thing to do. I would not be brave enough to cut my limb off.
    What if you are brave enough but do not have the tools to do so?
    You would also have to endure the pain.....I would definitely try to
    find other ways to endure the immense pain and hope that if it needs
    to be amputated that real doctors can do it for me. I would also pray a lot
    that the pain stops asap and that someone comes to rescue me...
    But it probably will be different if I am actually in that situation and
    might perceive cutting my limb as the only way out.
     
  21. Lisa Davis

    Lisa Davis Active Member
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    I wouldn't be able to do this, nor do I think that it is likely that I would survive. First, you can bleed to death. Second, the risk of further infection is great. Lastly, I know myself and my pain capacity. I would pass out and not be able to go anywhere at all, so it wouldn't help. It definitely wouldn't extend my life much at all. This is a horrible scenario and one that I am not sure I could make it out of unless I was rescued--and quickly at that!
     
  22. hades_leae

    hades_leae Active Member
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    Yeah, I would not chop off anything on my body either, I started thinking about SAW when that guy chopped his foot off. I would not risk dying, although that guy survived, if he was all alone in the situation above, he would have died. I also do not want to get rid of anything on my body just because I think it might kill me, if there was a chance that I could continue to live life with that limb being fixed in the long run, I would fight threw the pain, just like in "127 Hours", I would do what I need to do to survive. He decided to take his arm off, that was pretty much his only option if getting out any continuing life was the plan.

    I'd rather freeze and figure it out later when it's nice and warm outside. I've been in the cold before, screw the pain of chopping that arm off.
     
  23. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Expert Member
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    For me this is a kind of situation that is very hard to decide even if I have the courage within myself to amputate my limb just to survive life. If there are still possible natural ways that can ease the pain I will try it first rather than amputating one important part of my body. If I can still save it and could find other possible ways that is the first thing I would do before making any decision on what to do. Of course my spiritual belief and trust in God and asking His guidance is what I will do.
     
  24. iseeyou

    iseeyou Member
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    It's painful to imagine and i don't really know, i guess i would, i'll probably be so out of it that i wouldn't really care about anything other than surviving and since there's no other way to get through that nightmare, seeing as doctors and medicines aren't an option, then i'll probably just cut off the defective limb just to get it over it. Yikes.
     
  25. Vinaya

    Vinaya Expert Member
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    Living is more important than dying. Therefore, I would obviously cut my limb if I can live for another day. I will be amputing my limb in a hope that I can live more and also seek the survival chance. However, is there any point in amputing the limb if you are going to die anyway?
     
  26. Vinaya

    Vinaya Expert Member
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    Living is more important than dying. Therefore, I would obviously cut my limb if I can live for another day. I will be amputing my limb in a hope that I can live more and also seek the survival chance. However, is there any point in amputing the limb if you are going to die anyway?
     
  27. Neiltarquin

    Neiltarquin Member
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    Amputation is a best solution to save the whole from the dying part. It won't be the same again for that person but look the brighter side of the story, you will live to tell the tale of your experience.
     
  28. joegirl

    joegirl Member
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    I would. Without a doubt. Pain is relative to the joy of being alive, like someone said, there is life after disability. In a SHTF situation, you don't just give up, You fight to live. Even if you die, let it be said of you that you gave it all to survive. Recently, I read the story of a army guy who blew himself up when he saw he was surrounded by a circle of terrorists. Rather than be caught alive and tortured or beheaded, he took the enemy out and himself with a hand grenade.
     
  29. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    Having to amputate your limb is the kind of situation that evokes self pity. I read an article about a mountaineer who went on a climbing expedition and a boulder rolled and settled on his hand crushing but not severing it. He used something to severe it and lived to tell the tale. So sad but I don't see any other option.
     
    1. OursIsTheFury
      I read the same about a climber but it was snow and ice, not rock. The ice numbed the pain enough that he manually just went back and forth until it came off. I think for that scenario he hit a good deal of luck, since being in a cold area and being trapped in ice meant blood circulation was slowed down, and it helped prevent massive bleeding once he cut himself free.
       
      OursIsTheFury, Jul 17, 2017
  30. TsuyoyRival

    TsuyoyRival New Member
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    Amputating a limb "out cold", without any painkiller and like a savage without a knife or surgical instruments, sounds like an impossible task to me. I probably wouldn't allow anyone else to amputate it, even less probable I would do it on myself. But in such a situation humans tend to gather strengths hidden, probably associated with hormone release, so...who knows? :)
     
  31. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    I
    n any of these scenario you would most likely die of blood loss, dehydration, infection, shock, cold within the next 24 hours. I only know of one instance where a person survived this kind of event and that was entirely by chance. He amputated an arm that become trapped in a rockfall while canyon climbing but was lucky enough to be found shortly after by day trippers.
    Hypothetically I would say that I don't have the guts it took to do what he did.
    Factually, I would point out that I would not have put myself in any of those situations in the first place.
     
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