Limb Loss Prevention
Limb Loss Prevention
Why this petition matters
Signing this petition will save life & limb.
More than 200,000 amputations occur annually due to poor circulation in the legs known as Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.) More than 80% of these amputations are preventable.
P.A.D. is plaque build-up in mainly the arteries in the legs. One in five people over age 60 has it; One in three diabetics over age 50 has it. Most don't know it, if at all, until it reaches advanced stages and heart attack, stroke, or amputation are inevitable.
Symptoms of P.A.D. include leg pain, leg cramps, heaviness in the legs, numbness, tingling, skin discoloration, lack of hair growth, and non-healing foot ulcers.
Early diagnosis and early appropriate treatment, which includes lifestyle modifications such as exercise, diet, and smoking cessation would help prevent long-term complications the most.
But since 70% of patients polled by The Way To My Heart, a nonprofit organization supporting P.A.D. patients, report that their first complaints of textbook P.A.D. symptoms are misdiagnosed, many don't seek treatment until it reaches advanced stages where a physician may look at a patient's foot and see a non-healing ulcer due to lack of blood flow, then send the patient for amputation as 'treatment.'
Amputation is a last resort when all efforts fail. And with innovation moving at the speed of light in the vascular space, plenty of options are available to try and restore blood flow in minimally invasive ways during a procedure known as an Angiogram. An Angiogram is where a patient is lightly sedated and a physician creates a small, round puncture into the vessel and sends in wires, catheters, and balloons under fluoroscopy (xray) to try and open up the blockage. A proper angiogram prior to amputation should include an attempt to clear blockages below-the-knee and into the foot. But many physicians say they won't do it because it only increases a patient's risk for amputation. But if a physician is putting a patient on deck for amputation anyway, why not exhaust all efforts to try and restore flow?
The Way To My Heart's care team has saved the limbs of more than 500 patients told amputation was the only option simply by facilitating an introduction to a physician who would perform an angiogram that included efforts to unblock arteries clear into the foot. They have evidence that a proper vascular evaluation improves patient reported outcomes.
Patients don't know that an angiogram should be performed with efforts made during that procedure to restore blood flow in all vessels including the foot prior to amputation. But should they have to know this? Shouldn't it be standard protocol before someone's life is changed and mortality rate is increased with amputation?
Sign this petition if you believe a proper vascular evaluation, defined as exhausting all efforts in minimally invasive ways, to restore flow below-the-knee and into the foot during an Angiogram, should be required prior to any amputation being performed.
Join us in saving life and limb.