September is PAD Awareness Month: Early Detection Saves Limbs
- Category: News
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- Written By: Rhonda Alfred
More than 20 million Americans suffer from a condition called peripheral artery disease, also known as PAD. This is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs, leading to potential blockages in the legs.
September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month. Together, Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) and Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC) have remained committed to the early diagnosis and treatment of PAD to save limbs and lives. Being aware of the risk factors and screenings allow early detection and improve PAD outcomes. Statistics show that approximately 60% of the amputation procedures performed in the United States could be prevented. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most patients can manage the symptoms of PAD and avoid amputation or heart attacks.
Peripheral artery disease is caused by plaque build-up or blockages in the legs. Just like clogged arteries in the heart, blocked arteries in the legs keep the organs from receiving oxygen-rich blood, which raises the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, and can ultimately lead to amputation. Symptoms of PAD in the legs include: pain or cramping after activity, numbness, coldness, sores or ulcers that won’t heal, discoloration, hair loss, shiny skin or a weak pulse. Those over the age of 50 are most at risk, as well as smokers, who have three to five times more of a chance to develop PAD. Other risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and a family history of vascular disease, heart attack or stroke.
CIS cardiologists, along with the staff at the TGMC Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine, are participating in the Save a Leg, Save a Life (SALSAL) Foundation’s “white sock” challenge to help educate the community about PAD. Throughout September, they will spread the message of early PAD detection with one simple and visible tool: a white sock.
“Affecting more than 20 million Americans, PAD is a common, yet serious cardiovascular condition that left untreated can result in devastating consequences,” said Phyllis Peoples, TGMC, President and CEO. “That is why TGMC is proud to partner with Cardiovascular Institute of the South to provide diagnosis and treatment option solutions as well as offer a Wound Healing Center for our patients affected by PAD.”
If you think you may have PAD, a painless ultrasound or imaging test can show the blood flow in your legs to determine your risk. Schedule an appointment with a CIS cardiologist or learn more about PAD or wound healing at www.cardio.com and www.tghealthsystem.com.