Connecting The Dots Between Diabetic Foot Ulcers, PAD And Dangerous Complications

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Desmond Bell, DPM, CWS, FACCWS

   Connecting the dots between these conditions is necessary in formulating a proactive approach to managing patients with diabetes and preventing these catastrophic events. Early screening for PAD, before it becomes symptomatic, is essential in higher risk patients. These patients would include anyone age 50 or over who has diabetes and/or smokes, or those who are over the age of 70, even when health history of the individual is unremarkable. By coupling screening of these patient populations with early referrals to wound care specialists and vascular interventionalists, we can make significant strides toward reducing and preventing catastrophic events such as amputation, heart attack and stroke.

Final Notes

There must be greater accountability in terms of the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and PAD. We must view these conditions in the same proactive manner as we do with breast cancer if any significant progress is to occur in the realm of limb preservation.

   Dr. Bell is a board certified wound specialist of the American Academy of Wound Management and a Fellow of the American College of Certified Wound Specialists. He is the founder of the “Save a Leg, Save a Life” Foundation, a multidisciplinary, non-profit organization dedicated to the reduction of lower extremity amputations and improving wound healing outcomes through evidence-based methodology and community outreach.

   The author thanks Mary Yost of the SAGE Group and Stephane Courric of Healiance for their contributions to this article.

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