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Every Hour Seven People With Diabetes Have An Amputation

Holy Cross Wound Healing & Hyperbarics Center offers warning signs during American Diabetes Month in November


November is American Diabetes Month and the health care experts at the Holy Cross Wound Healing & Hyperbarics Center, a member of the Healogics™ network, are drawing attention to the fact that every hour seven people across the country lose a foot or leg to the disease, which is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations not caused by accidents.

“People living with diabetes face two distinct challenges in this area,” said Cornelius H. Scannell, MD, medical director, Holy Cross Hospital Wound Healing and Hyperbarics Center.  “The circulation of blood to their legs, which can help heal wounds, can be compromised by blood vessel disease, while patients may not even be aware of wounds in the early stages due to nerve disease that lessens sensation and often accompanies diabetes.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one in three people with diabetes ages 40 and older have at least one area on their feet that lacks feeling.  Those at greater risk for nerve damage include diabetics who have difficulty controlling their blood sugar, high cholesterol, weight or blood pressure.

Statistically, one in 20 diabetics will develop a wound on the legs or feet each year.  The risk of amputations can be reduced by 45 to 85 percent through foot care programs that can include risk assessment, education, treatment of foot problems and referrals to specialists.
State-of-the-art equipment and leading edge therapies are also playing a role in reducing the risk of amputation. Holy Cross Wound Healing & Hyperbarics Center offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, bio-engineered skin substitutes, biological and biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies. 

The experts at Holy Cross Wound Healing & Hyperbarics Center note the following as indications of problems diabetics may have with their legs and urge people to discuss symptoms they may have with their healthcare providers:

• pain in the legs or cramping in the buttocks, thighs or calves during physical activity;
• tingling, burning or painful feet;
• loss of sense of touch or the ability to feel heat or cold in the feet;
• changes in the shape, color or temperature of the feet;
• hair loss on the toes, feet and lower legs;
• dry or cracked skin on the feet;
• thick and yellow toenails or fungus infections between the toes; and
• blisters, sores, infected corns and ingrown toenails.

Holy Cross Wound Healing & Hyperbarics Center physicians recommend people with diabetes manually inspect their feet each day and seek immediate attention if a lower extremity wound has increased pain, redness or swelling, foul wound odor, or a change in color or change in amount of drainage.

For more information on the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, contact Holy Cross Wound Healing and Hyperbarics Center located at 1000 NE 56th Street, Fort Lauderdale or call 954-202-4877.

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About Healogics, Inc. 
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., Healogics is the largest provider of wound care and related disease management in the country. Healogics and its affiliated companies manage more than 500 Wound Care Centers® in the nation. Through a connected network of its centers, partner hospitals, academic medical center partners, patients and families, Healogics employs a rigorous scientific approach that explores, tests, finds and develops the clinically proven methods, protocols, pathways and technologies which reintroduce the body's innate ability to heal.  For more information, please visit www.healogics.com or to find a Wound Care Center near you, please call 1-800-373-HEAL (4325).


About Holy Cross Hospital
A member of CHE Trinity Health, Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. is a full-service, non-profit Catholic hospital, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. Since opening its doors in 1955, the 559-bed hospital has offered progressive services and programs to meet the evolving healthcare needs of Broward County. Today, Holy Cross has more than 600 physicians on staff representing more than 40 specialties and more than 3,000 employees. To learn more about Holy, visit holy-cross.com, “like” Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale on Facebook, or follow @holycrossfl on Twitter.

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