The thought of losing a hand, an arm or a foot is unpleasant, and yet some people do live with the loss of a limb. It is not common, but sometimes a person experiences serious health problems or an accident that causes a doctor to recommend the removal of a part of the body to preserve life and health.
In some instances a person needs amputation because of a health condition like diabetes or a cancerous tumor. In other cases, a personal injury may necessitate it. WebMD explains certain scenarios that may damage the body enough to warrant the removal of a limb.
An accident severe enough can crush, tear or otherwise cause extensive damage to a part of your body. You may experience such an accident at the workplace or from an automobile collision. You could also suffer a catastrophic injury from a severe burn. If the damaged limb endangers your health, your doctors may feel removing it is the best way to save your life.
Life threatening infections
Sometimes a serious injury results in a dangerous infection. Some injury victims have open wounds which allow bacteria to enter the body. Doctors may treat the infection with antibiotics or other means. However, some patients cannot ward off the infection and the infected limb poses enough of a threat that amputating it is the only way to stave off death.
When parts of your body experience extreme cold temperatures, they may suffer frostbite. In severe cases, frostbite penetrates through every layer of skin and into the tissues below it, damaging joints and muscles. Severe frostbite also kills off tissue. Some people have lost fingers or toes due to frostbite. While frostbite may happen because of cold weather, exposure to very cold substances at the workplace can also result in frostbite and possible amputation.