Tacoma Washington Chapter
Chapter Chair: Charles Andersen, MD
Chapter Contact Person: Mari Carson
The Tacoma chapter's main goal is community education and supporting better care to patients at risk for amputation. It should be viewed as a foundation where industry, care givers and patients can work together to address and meet targeted local needs. The Tacoma Save a Leg Save a Life meetings should be aimed at general education, team building and case discussions. The local chapter will have an open door policy that encourages passion and welcomes anyone interested. Specific product promotion should be discouraged unless in the context of general education. Objective outcome measures will be initiated to tract the decrease in amputations and help to measure chapter effectiveness. In addition, the Tacoma SALSAL will create and support many community projects such as an annual run, screening for diabetes and foot disorders.
Study Shows Care by a Podiatrist Helps Lower Risk of Amputation
A recent Duke University study published online in the journal Health Services Research found that people with diabetic foot problems can lower their risk of amputation by relying on coordinated care that includes a podiatrist.
Lead author Frank Sloan, PhD, and colleagues, looked at six years of Medicare claims data on nearly 190,000 diabetic patients with foot problems. The researchers found that people who saw both a podiatrist and a lower-extremity clinician during the year before diagnosis were much less likely to need amputation. Lower-extremity clinicians included surgeons, neurologists, dermatologists, and other specialists.
"This study shows that coordinated care substantially reduces amputation rates," said David Armstrong, DPM, PhD, MD, APMA member and co-founder of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance.
This study complements the preliminary results of the Thomson Reuters studypresented at the National 2010 in Seattle (eNews 3,105). Those data will be published in two peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, later this year or in early 2011.