Diabetes Self-Management Blog

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, and to mark the occasion, the Amputee Coalition is lighting up Times Square with a Jumbotron message urging people to take action to avoid a preventable amputation.

According to the Coaltion, roughly 500 amputations are performed daily in the United States, with approximately 60% of these procedures being characterized as preventable. People with diabetes and vascular disease, as well as minorities, are most frequently affected.

With a public education grant provided by Thor-lo, maker of protective padded socks, the Amputee Coalition will be running their public service announcement every 15 minutes throughout the month of April. The message shows people thriving with limb loss and encourages those at risk to “Take a Seat, Check Your Feet.”

Specifically, the Coalition recommends checking your feet every day after a bath or shower to look for signs of potential problems, such as bumps, blisters, or bruises; cuts, sores, or cracks; patches of thin, shiny, or red skin; ingrown toenails with puffy or red skin around the nail; temperature differences between the feet; pain, numbness, or tingling in the feet; and loss of hair on a leg or foot. Additional recommendations include avoiding walking barefoot, not using very hot water or heating pads on your feet, and protecting your feet from the sun with sunblock.

For more information on preventing and coping with limb loss, check out the Web site of the Amputee Coalition. And to learn more about foot care, click here.

This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.

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