This past weekend, I had the honor of participating in the national conference of SALSAL, otherwise known as Save A Leg, Save a Life Foundation.
For those of you that have not heard of this foundation, the focus is on the prevention of lower extremity ampuations in the United States from either peripheral arterial disease and diabetes. As podiatrists, it shocked me that more of us are not involved in the organization on local levels, and I encourage everyone to visit the website at www.savealegsavealife.org and get involved to start your local chapters.
We all know the data. Lower extremity amputations cause mortality around 75-80% at 5 years and the cost of an amputation is around $35,000-$50,000. Limb salvage via intervention, prophylatic surgery, vascular bypass is obviously less expensive and provides the patient with a functional extremity.
Please get involved. I know we are all busy, but network with your local interventional cardiologists, radiologists and vascular surgeons -- put together an action group through your local hospital -- get home health agencies involved to help sponsor -- just start making a difference! If patient's lose extremities due to our apathy and non-action -- we lose those patients eventually. But at what cost?
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