Lower Extremity Amputation: Can It Be Avoided?
Each year, millions of people across the country are diagnosed with Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) or Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI). Left untreated, the loss of blood flow to your lower extremities – your leg, foot or toes – can result in the need for amputation of all or part of a limb.
For patients receiving a lower limb amputation nationally, about 70% have not received any diagnostic testing to see if blood flow can be restored to save all or part of the limb. That’s why Nanticoke Health Services has implemented the SAVE program to help quickly identify these patients while amputation can still be prevented.
If you have a patient or are a patient with PVD or CLI and you think a lower extremity amputation has to be done, STOP -there may be another option!
Call us TODAY at 302-628-6222!
What is the SAVE Program?
SAVE – or Stopping Amputations of Vital Extremities – puts in place a protocol or structured process to quickly triage patients to determine if an interventional procedure may be able to save all or part of a limb. Like with heart disease, time is important to offer patients the best possible outcome. If there is a possibility for improved blood flow, the patient is put on a care track based on severity of the disease. The SAVE program can get a patient into care within hours or days, depending on the patient’s individual need.
The SAVE program is a part of Nanticoke’s cardiology service, but also includes a multidisciplinary care team including interventional cardiologists, endocrinologists, podiatrists, wound care specialists and primary care physicians.
The initial triage can be done in person or by phone. A physician or a patient can call to get help quickly.
What is Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)?
Peripheral Artery Disease (PVD) is a common condition in people 50 years or older. It occurs when there is a fatty build up in the blood vessels that carry blood outside of your heart and brain. PVD is a major cause of amputations and ulceration of lower extremities in the US. Risk factors for PVD include diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
What is Critical Limb Ischemic (CLI)?
Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a severe blockage in the arteries of the lower extremities – the legs, feet or toes. This blockage, a very serious form of PVD, significantly reduces blood flow. CLI is a chronic condition causing severe pain to the extremity, even while resting. Left untreated, the complications of CLI will result in amputation of the affected limb.