Hey! I have a question for the medical types among us, regarding cauterization of an accidental amputation.
I've Googled a few different terms, including "cauterization", "cauterization amputation", and "cauterization treatment". The trouble I've been running into is the two main focuses of results- modern use of cauterization, and Civil War battlefield amputations, neither of which are quite what I'm looking for.
My story is set post apocalyptic by only a few decades, so society is still rebuilding, with none of the technology they had pre-impact, but with the added benefit of people beginning to develop magical abilities (won't get into the details of that here, but magic is relevant!) During the scene in question, my characters are out in the middle of nowhere, the closest humans are the ones who are trying to kill them, so they have no help.
In one of the skirmishes, one of the characters gets his arm pretty much blown off, up to just above the elbow. Like, we're talking a stump of raw hamburger looking flesh where arm used to be. None of the magic users can heal, but one of them has a flare for fire, and she does the first thing she can think of- she grabs onto the wound (wound seems like a weak word for that) and blasts it with a pulse of intense heat to cauterize it and keep him from bleeding out in minutes.
Obviously he's going to pass out from the pain, because yikes, but all the sources I've found assume hospitalization, even in a surgical tent of some kind, would be available. All my characters have are some bandages, and there are no hospitals, only doctors that are few and far between.
Could he survive this? Would he die simply from shock? If he survived the initial trauma, would he just end up dying from infection days later? The sources I've found seem to agree that cauterization raises the risk of infection, but I can't find any solid numbers on that, if there even are any. And on the off chance that he makes it through all that, what kind if timeline are we looking at for him to be up and walking around and able to travel?
Thanks for any help you can give. Also, my stomach is highly angry at me for reading about this all evening. :P
- Traumatic Amputation/Cauterization