In the global scenario, as the prevalence of renal failure and diabetes increases, healing and limb preservation assume increasing clinical importance for patients and healthcare systems. Unfortunately, there continues to be variation in the care delivered to patients at risk of losing a limb based on geography, race, socioeconomic status, and insurance status. There are also a variety of therapeutic approaches to patients with limb-threatening ischemia; 25% undergo primary amputation, 25% undergo medical therapy, and only 50% undergo any attempt at revascularization. Nearly 50% of patients undergoing major amputation have not had a simple diagnostic arteriogram to assess the possibility of limb preservation. The Society of Vascular Surgery and the American Podiatric Medical Association have recognized the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to limb preservation. Benefits to the patient include rapid assessment, improved healing, and enhanced revascularization. Advantages for the providers include the ability to efficiently manage complex patients with help from the appropriate specialties, an increase in referrals, enhanced identity of the institution, and clinical research and trials. Such a program requires the coordinated effort of physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, and administrators dedicated to the preservation of functional limbs. Beneficial components include identifiable space, a vascular laboratory, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and protocol-driven care involving diagnostic and therapeutic modalities such as endovascular revascularization, open bypass, and soft tissue reconstruction. Prosthetic expertise is also important to maintain function in those patients for whom amputation is appropriate. But, the key to a program is cooperation and communication among the participants who have a passion for limb preservation. Video Journal Club ‘Cappuccino with Claudio Ronco’ at http://www.karger.com/?doi=452746.
Neville, Kayssi, , , , , , , (2017). Development of a Limb-Preservation Program. Blood purification, 2017 ;43(1-3):218-225. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28114132