Bard Peripheral Vascular, a subsidiary of C R Bard, announced on 3 April 2013 the launch of the Love Your Limbs awareness campaign, a new Bard-sponsored initiative intended to raise awareness of critical limb ischaemia, its precursor, peripheral artery disease, and limb amputation awareness and prevention.
As part of the campaign, BPV launched a patient- and physician-focused educational site intended as a resource with information about the causes, symptoms and available treatments for critical limb ischaemia. The site, www.LoveYourLimbs.com, guides visitors through a multimedia experience that addresses questions and concerns commonly raised by those affected by peripheral arterial disease, critical limb ischaemia and amputation. This site also provides physicians with case studies, product videos, and information symposiums taking place throughout the United States.
“Peripheral arterial disease and critical limb ischaemia are serious conditions that can lead to potentially life-threatening consequences,” said Jihad Mustapha, director of Endovascular Interventions and Cardiovascular Research at Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming, USA. “Early detection and proper treatment can help more patients avoid amputation. Programs such as the Love Your Limbs campaign that stress education and awareness of all treatment options are critical to help reduce limb loss.”
“The American Diabetes Association applauds Bard Peripheral Vascular in this important, national public awareness campaign,” said Laura Landon, executive director, Arizona Area of the American Diabetes Association. “The importance of vascular health is not always understood by the general public so awareness programmes, such as the Love Your Limbs campaign, are helpful in educating patients and physicians so they can make informed treatment decisions.”
In 2011, the National Amputation Prevention Coalition designated April as National Limb Loss Month. Approximately 220,000 to 240,000 lower extremity amputations occur each year in the USA and Europe alone. This means more than 10,000 patients and their families are impacted by amputations every month. Many of these patients will also face the possibility of additional amputations on the opposite limb.
Despite advanced interventional techniques to restore blood flow to the leg or foot, amputation continues to be a common course of treatment for patients with critical limb ischaemia. In fact, a retrospective data analysis involving 417 patients, who received an amputation between 1999 and 2001, revealed that 67% of those patients with critical limb ischaemia have a primary amputation as their first-line treatment and only 16% of patients ever received a diagnostic angiogram to determine if non-invasive percutaneous or other treatment options were viable.
“We are pleased to launch this initiative and increase the awareness of this very important issue,” said Tim Ring, chairman and chief executive officer of C R Bard. “Within one year of diagnosis of critical limb ischaemia, approximately 25% of patients receive a major amputation and another 25% may lose their life. Within three to five years of the first lower limb loss, more than one third of patients will likely have a second amputation on the opposite limb. We are hopeful that the Love Your Limbs campaign will raise awareness of treatment options for peripheral arterial disease and critical limb ischaemia and will save more legs and more lives.”
For more information on the Love Your Limbs campaign please visit www.loveyourlimbs.com.