It may start with pain as you walk and wounds that are slow to heal. These are indicators you might have peripheral arterial disease, a systemic and progressive condition that involves the narrowing or blockage of blood flow in the blood vessels. More than 202 million people worldwide are diagnosed with this disease 1 (Fowkes, 2013) that, if left untreated, can lead to leg pain, loss of mobility, and even amputation. As overwhelming as it may sound, PAD can be managed. With the right information and treatment – including a full suite of innovative medical solutions from Becton Dickinson, a leader in healthcare safety and technologies – (BD, bd.com) – patients can be better informed on available care.
After screening for risk factors like diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and family history, Phoenix-based vascular surgeon Dr. Jeromy Brink asks about the nature of the symptoms. “The one question I always ask is, ‘Can you go out and walk two blocks without stopping?’” Brink says. “If they say, ‘No, I can get to the mailbox and then I have to stop, and then I go to the end of the block and I have to stop,’ that’s claudication (pain due to a blood flow blockage). That’s PAD until proven otherwise.”
Long before surgery, Brink advises lifestyle changes – stabilizing diabetes, ceasing smoking, managing cholesterol, increasing exercising – and specific medications. If surgery is necessary, he turns to minimally invasive interventions aided by BD’s cutting-edge products managed in Tempe and being used to help patients around the globe. These products include angioplasty balloons and drug coated balloons used to open a narrowed vessel, and other dedicated arterial vessel treatment devices. “There’s just so much data behind what they deliver,” Brink says. “It helps us take better care of patients.”
Doctors and engineers are working together to help keep patients moving on their feet
Innovative technology from Tempe’s Becton Dickinson (BD) helps doctors to save limbs – and lives – affected by peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
If you suspect you or a loved one might have PAD, visit loveyourlimbs.com, a helpful hub of resources that includes a physician finder, patient and physician videos and information on how to manage PAD and avoid amputation. The Love Your Limbs™ PAD awareness campaign is BD’s patient initiative that Brink and his colleagues appreciate. “It’s great to have a company that is dedicated to providing an outreach and awareness program to help patients understand their disease process so that they can then be part of the evolution of their care,” he says. “It just speaks to the integrity of a company like BD.”
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1 Fowkes, Gerald, R., Rudan, D, et al. (2013).
The Lancet, 382 (9901), 1329-1340. For full product safety information please visit www.crbard.com/Peripheral-Vascular.
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