Simphiwe cut his right thumb off with a meat saw at a butchery. Amputations of digits or parts of the hand and upper limb can be replanted if referred early to a centre that has the requisite skills to do these procedures.
Dr Patel performed this replant and Simphiwe had a functional thumb 3 weeks later.
Too many emergency room staff will simply not entertain the idea of possible replantation because they are not in a position to refer to a surgeon who has the necessary microsurgical experience. At the very least allow patients with such injuries to have the opportunity of being assessed.