The pandemic has affected our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined. It’s no surprise that healthcare was changed the most by COVID, but you might be surprised by the effect it has had on non-accidental amputations.
When COVID lockdowns temporarily halted everyday life, non-emergent healthcare was also put on hold. Regularly scheduled visits and checkups were canceled. For some people, missing a regular appointment had little to no effect on their health. For others, missing those appointments was life-changing.
The Vascular experts at Premier Surgical Vascular and Vein Center urge vascular patients never to miss an appointment as they are essential for monitoring the progress of their condition, preventing complications, and catching problems before they escalate.
Missing those regular checkups can be catastrophic when problems that could have been prevented, weren’t. With medical clinics closed and elective surgeries on hold during the pandemic, some patients have had few options for healthcare. Telehealth is convenient, but not a substitution for hands-on assessment of skin integrity and pulse checks.
For some the only other option for care is the emergency room. For patients with circulation issues, waiting until an issue becomes an emergency can make treatment very difficult. People may suffer serious vascular complications at home before finally going to the emergency room, only to find that amputation is their only option.
In a typical year, about 100,000 people will have a leg amputated. More than half are caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD) and diabetes. We may never know how many more amputations have resulted from a lack of healthcare during the pandemic. Still, a report from Stanford Healthcare found that the number of amputations between March 2020 – the beginning of widespread shutdowns – and February 2021 increased by nearly 50% over the previous year when preventive care was available.
For people living with a vascular disease like peripheral artery disease (PAD), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), or carotid artery disease, preventive care is essential to preventing amputation.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
An amputation isn’t only life-changing – for many, it’s also life-shortening. As many as 74% of amputees die within five years due to complications. Whatever is holding you back from making an appointment isn’t worth your life.
The board-certified team of Vascular Surgeons at Premier Surgical Vascular and Vein Center in Knoxville, TN treats vein and vascular diseases and provides vascular access surgery. Don’t wait for treatment if you suffer from a vascular condition. Call us today for an appointment at (865) 588-8229 or request an appointment using this link.