Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem that affects over 8.5 million U.S. adults and it has a 5 times higher mortality rate than leading cancers. Stemming from fatty build-up, or atherosclerosis, in the arteries, PAD causes blood vessels in the limbs to narrow. This can significantly reduce blood flow which can lead to a non-healing wound if an injury occurs. If left untreated, these wounds can become infected, and put patients at risk of sepsis, gangrene, or even amputation.
Risk factors of developing PAD include aging, diabetes, obesity, and smoking. However, only around 25% of the population is aware of the disease, and many go undiagnosed. There are a variety of tests that may be used to identify PAD in your patients:
If a patient is presenting with a wound, a confirmed diagnosis of PAD provides a window through which a clinician can now view the entire cause of the wound. The most common wound types associated with PAD are Arterial, Venous, and Diabetic Foot Ulcers.
With lifestyle changes and a commitment to treatment, PAD can be managed. Here are eight tips to share with your patients to encourage healing:
We Support Wound Centers. For over two decades, Wound Care Advantage (WCA) has supported wound centers to improve patient care and program profitability with innovative tools, technology, and services for sustained success. WCA's mission is to save patients' limbs and lives by promoting operational, clinical, and financial success in wound care programs across the country. For more information visit www.thewca.com.