Field Extremity Amputation: A Brief Curriculum and Protocol


  • Steven W. Zils MD,

  • Panna A. Codner MD,

  • Ronald G. Pirrallo MD, MHSA

Since the 1970s, there have been suggestions to develop a formal curriculum and protocol for performing field extremity amputations. Several events since this time, including the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, have demonstrated the potential need for such a program. However, a curriculum including a didactic lecture and skills demonstration for this high-risk, low-frequency procedure has never been established. This instructional video serves as a bridge between the prehospital environment and definitive surgical treatment. It includes a brief historical background, indications and equipment necessary for performing the procedure, and a surgical demonstration of a lower-extremity amputation performed on a cadaver. This video is an edited version of a longer, complete curriculum available at: