Caitlin Hicks (Baltimore, USA) talks to BLearning at SVS 2019 (Society for Vascular Surgery; 12–15 June; Washington DC, USA) about why it is so important to save limbs and the huge impact limb salvage can have on a patient’s quality of life. Currently however, the results of limb salvage are “very variable depending on the extent of the wounds”.
Hicks outlines her own experience at Johns Hopkins Hospital where a dedicated multidisciplinary limb preservation team, specialising in diabetic foot care, has been established. This multidisciplinary approach means patients can “come and see all the specialities in one single clinic visit”. According to Hicks, the implementation of the team has yielded “excellent results” including a limb salvage rate of 95% at one year.
Having a multidisciplinary team is “extremely important”, says Hicks, because it “improves patient outcomes and provides cross-communication across a variety of specialties”. She also explains some of the factors that help improve limb salvage rates including “dedicated and regular wound care” and adapting care as the wound changes.