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Learning About Diabetes Care and Limb Preservation

Kimberly McMickens explains how a patient lost his toe to diabetes

This is a sponsored post.

Diabetes has had a big impact on my family over the years. Several of my close family members have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. This is why I was happy to be part of a group of writers given a tour recently of the Center for Limb Preservation & Advanced Wound Care at Adventist Health White Memorial in East Los Angeles. Doctors there know that Diabetes impacts entire families and is working to help the community it serves.

According to a study done by UCLA, Californians from low income neighborhoods are more likely to lose a limb from diabetes than people in higher income neighborhoods. For example, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood around the hospital, patients are 10 times more likely to lose a limb than diabetics in Beverly Hills. Because of this, the center has become a one-stop shop for diabetes care.

Diabetes sufferers can lose a limb after the disease has gotten out of control when blood sugar levels aren’t managed correctly. This can lead to peripheral artery disease, which reduces blood flow to the legs and feet, which can slow wound healing and result in loss of feeling in legs and feet.

“In a doctors office they will ask, ‘why isn’t this wound healing?'” said Dr. Brian D. Johnston, the center’s Co-Medical Director. “Here, we can figure it out.”

Kimberly McMickens explains how a patient lost his toe to diabetes

RN Manager Kimberly McMickens shows us an X-ray of a foot where the toe has been amputated

In order to treat patients in the most efficient way, patients who come into the Center with a chronic or non-healing wound are treated, tested and referred to doctors in the same facility. Doctors can meet with each other and figure out the best treatment plan. So instead of seeing a doctor and waiting weeks for the referral appointment across town to see a podiatrist or endocrinologist who may not know anything about you until minutes before the appointment, doctors at the Limb Prevention Center have already been talking about your care by the time of your appointment.

If  a patient comes into the emergency department with a serious foot problem, the goal is get the patient into surgery within two hours of the diagnosis. If the problem is treated quickly, Johnston said, it could mean losing a pinky toe instead of losing the entire leg.

“Effectively treating wounds and staving off amputation goes to the core of what drives doctors and support staff at the Center for Limb Preservation & Advanced Wound Care. The best outcome for our patients is to preserve their limbs so they can continue to enjoy an active, independent lifestyle,” Dr. Johnston said.

Having a chronic illness, losing a limb or being recently diagnosed can be hard on patients and families. The Center addresses that with a variety of services including preventive health services. Adventist Health offers classes in Healthy Eating & Lifestyle, Gestational Diabetes and Diabetes Self-Management Education Class.

According to the Center, many health plans cover wound treatment. For more information, visit the Center for Limb Preservation & Advanced Wound Care at Adventist Health White Memorial or call (323) 307-8585. 

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Center for Limb Preservation & Advanced Wound Care at Adventist Health White Memorial. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

 

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