Originally Posted by allmywires
If a character were to have part of their arm amputated on a battlefield, would cauterisation be the best way to stop the bleeding? If so, how long would a sword take to heat (over a fire) to be hot enough to do so?
Second, if said character was pregnant (only early stages) would she definitely lose the baby? (I want her not to).
I'm not a medical doctor, but I think using fire/heat to cauterise an amputation to stop blood flow would probably not work. Sure it would sterlise it but it would probably cause huge amounts of pain.
The blood is at pressure and would be trying to force it's way out and you'd have to charcoal a big bit of the arm/leg. My guess is that you won't have time and you'd probably lose the patient through shock.
Best thing I think to do is to put a very tight tournique to stop blood flowing. to the stump. I don't know what era your in, but afterwards you'd want to apply antiseptic (nice) things, I guess, to the wound (and painkillers to the victim). The greeks used honey for wounds, for example, which is actually quite good (concentrated sugar a bacteria does not like)
I think the biggest killer of amputees is the shock - everything has to be done extremely quickly.
As for babies, this I don't know but I'd assume that's it's not a given that a wounded woman would automatically miscarry/give birth. I've read amazing stories of women who have given birth despite horrific adversities.