American Diabetes Association Announces Amputation Prevention Alliance

Sept. 28, 2022
The American Diabetes Association, along with several other organizations, announced a new initiative called the Amputation Prevention Alliance—the initiative aims to address communities facing high rates of amputations and amputation-related mortality

On Sept. 22, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) announced a new initiative called the Amputation Prevention Alliance. Along with the ADA, the founding partners of the alliance include Somerville, Mass.-based Podimetrics, a virtual care management company dedicated to preventing diabetic amputations, and Oceanside, Calif.-based Advanced Oxygen Therapy Inc, a home healthcare company. Other supporters include Chicago-based Abbott, a medical device company; Saint Paul, Minn.-based Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., a medical device company; and Grandville, Mich.-based CLI [The Critical Limb Ischemia] Global Society, a non-profit that aims to improve quality of life by preventing amputations and death due to CLI.

A press release on the initiative says that “Over 154,000 amputations occur every year in the United States, with the majority of those procedures being preventable, but due to challenges in accessing quality care, patients are forced into unnecessary amputations and even death.”

Further, “The Amputation Prevention Alliance’s work will focus on addressing communities facing disproportionately high rates of amputations and amputated-related mortality, including through advancing needed policy changes, driving clinician awareness of opportunities to prevent amputations, and empowering patients to advocate for their best care. This three-year effort will aim to improve care for all people living with diabetes, and enhance access to quality care, technology, and necessary interventions.  The aim is to reduce the number of unnecessary amputations that take place every year in the United States. The right to avoid an amputation is a centerpiece of the ADA’s #HealthEquityNow platform.”

The release explains that access to quality care and earlier intervention is a challenge that leads to high rates of amputations, especially among people of color. In the U.S., Black individuals face rates of amputations up to four times higher than non-Hispanic white individuals. LatinX communities are 50 percent more likely to have an amputation, and indigenous communities face rates of amputation that are two times higher than non-Hispanic white individuals.

Charles Henderson, ADA’s chief executive officer was quoted in the release saying that “This Alliance, through the groundwork laid by the ADA’s Health Equity Now platform, will increase awareness among patients and health care professionals of risk factors for amputations and opportunities to avoid these procedures. This initiative aims to advance needed policy changes to ensure that health care professionals have the tools necessary to prevent unnecessary procedures and save lives moving forward. We can and must do better.” 

“Survey data confirms that far too many people with diabetes are unaware about their own risk for an amputation,” the release notes. “In a recent survey of people living with diabetes conducted by Thrivable, despite diabetes being the leading cause of amputations, 65 percent of those surveyed said they believed they were not at risk for amputation and just 1 in 4 of those surveyed understood the signs and symptoms of conditions that can lead to an amputation such as peripheral neuropathy, peripheral artery disease or critical limb ischemia.”

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