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First Aid and Emergencies

Freeing Trapped Limbs

Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

Fingers, arms, or legs sometimes get caught in objects such as bottles, jars, or pipes. Stay calm; panic will only make the situation worse.

Home Treatment

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  • Don't try to force the limb from where it is stuck, because doing so will make it swell and become more difficult to remove.

  • Try to relax the limb. Relaxation alone will sometimes enable you to free the limb.

  • If possible, elevate the limb.

  • Apply ice around the exposed part of the limb. This may reduce any swelling and allow the limb to be released.

  • If ice doesn't work, dribble soapy water or cooking oil on the limb. Turn the limb or the object so you "unscrew" it rather than pulling it out directly.

When to Call a Health Professional

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Call if you are unable to free the trapped limb.

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