According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), approximately 60 percent of lower-limb amputations among people age 20 and older that are not caused by trauma occur in people with diabetes. Many of these amputations could be prevented through proper education and care.
All Tenet hospitals in San Antonio, Texas, currently offer diabetes education to patients. In addition, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital recently established a unique Amputation Prevention Program (APP). The program focuses on reducing the number of procedures associated with diabetes complications by prioritizing thorough discussion with patients and offering high-quality care. Specialists at Mission Trail focus on consulting more quickly with patients who have lower extremity wounds. Within 24 hours after the initial intervention, a plan of care is developed for each patient. Education is a critical component within the program. Vascular, wound care, orthopedic and podiatry specialists provide patients with information about their overall health and diagnosis as well as how these affect wound recovery.
The hospital also hosts a diabetes support group once a month providing beneficial medical resources and encouragement from experts, physicians, clinicians and dietitians, aiming to support patients in their daily struggles with diabetes.
Post-wound care treatment is another important aspect of the APP. The hospital offers a wide variety of assistance for those who do undergo amputation procedures, including teaching them how to use amputation-specific equipment, how to properly care for their skin, and completing self-care tasks safely.
"By continuing to follow the patient's care outside of the hospital, the specialists are able to monitor the progress of the wound and make changes as needed," said Mission Trail Baptist Hospital Wound Care Nurse Dominica Mclendon, RN.