April is Limb Loss Awareness Month
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a serious condition in which blood flow to the lower extremities is restricted, causing pain in the leg muscles or difficultly walking. If left undiagnosed or untreated, PAD can lead to serious complications, including lower limb amputation.
Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month is a time to honor individuals living with limb loss. It is also the perfect time to educate patients about PAD and continue to advocate for in-office testing so that physicians can provide early and accurate diagnoses for their patients.
According to a recent study of more than one million Medicare patients with Critical Limb Ischemia (a severe blockage in the arteries to the lower extremities that reduces blood flow), proper intervention by a vascular physician reduced the likelihood of amputation by 90 percent. When PAD is detected early, physicians can work with their patients to provide treatment options and suggest lifestyle changes that can prevent amputation. Regular exercise, avoiding smoking, proper foot care, and routine doctor visits are all critical to managing PAD.
In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that adults ages 50-64, especially with a history of smoking, be screened for PAD using the Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) exam. At Newman Medical, we have been supplying physicians and hospitals with reliable vascular testing equipment for decades. We manufacture a variety of ABI systems to meet the specific needs of each practice. Each ABI system is designed to quickly and easily perform an ABI exam to detect and diagnose PAD. Early detection is the key to proper treatment and proper treatment can prevent limb loss.
Important to Note
- Each year, approximately 160,000 PAD-related amputations are performed in the U.S.
- 54% of people living with limb loss have lost a limb due to PAD or Diabetes
- Amputation is more common in people who have a history of heavy smoking
- Nearly 50% of people who have a PAD-related amputation will die within five years. This is a higher five-year mortality rate than breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
The Limb Preservation Foundation