On the 5th February 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Vascular and Venous Disease launched its latest report on the inequalities in lower limb amputation rates. Saving Limbs, Saving Lives: A Call to Action to Reduce Inequalities in Lower Limb Amputation Rates highlights the national amputation and ulcer challenge and provides a blue print for how this can be tackled.
The report highlights that every hour, in England, someone over 50 has a minor (partial foot) amputation. Every two hours someone loses their whole leg. These are life changing events which increase a patient’s chance of further co-morbidities, a drastically reduced quality of life and premature death.
The majority of lower limb amputations are a result of foot ulcers. This report identifies four areas of inequality in access to treatment and outcomes for patients:
- Diabetes: Whilst the national focus is diabetic foot ulcers, half of all amputations are in people that do not have diabetes.
- Gender: Leg ulcers are three times more common than diabetic foot ulcers, and twice as common in women as men.
- Where you live: There is a North/South divide with major amputation rates 30% higher in Northern England compared with the South.
- Ethnicity: Amputation rates are 70% higher in the Black as compared to the White populations of England. In contrast, the amputation rate in the South Asian population is 40% lower than the White population in England.
The well-attended event brought together healthcare professionals and parliamentarians to discuss how to gain consensus on and promote a unified model for early diagnosis, intervention and treatment of lower limb ulcers to prevent amputation.
As members of the APPG, BD is proud to be involved in this initiative to raise awareness of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) within the general public and clinical community, promoting the benefits of better prevention, early identification and treatment thus helping to reduce unnecessary lower limb amputations and associated early death related to PAD.
Read the full report here.