Bipartisan group of lawmakers call for a national strategy to reduce non-traumatic amputations to zero
Washington – The CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) today applauded 32 members of the U.S. House of Representatives for urging the Department of Health and Human Services and the Veterans Health Administration to adopt a national strategy to reduce non-traumatic amputations through increased awareness of peripheral artery disease (PAD), increased screenings for at risk populations, and improved access to multidisciplinary care.
In the letter, which was sponsored by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), the lawmakers ask the administration to provide Congress with information about any current or planned efforts by the federal government to reduce unnecessary non-traumatic amputations. The letter also calls on all relevant agencies to provide information about their regulatory authority to implement any such policy and asks whether any new statutory authority is needed.
“On behalf of the vascular care community, I would like to sincerely thank Representatives Paulsen, Payne, and their colleagues for working to make non-traumatic amputations a thing of the past,” said Jeffrey Carr, MD, a member of the CVC Board of Directors and Founding President of the Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society. “Thanks to their leadership, we are closer to advancing initiatives to address the alarming rate of limb loss in America, particularly in minority communities.”
Each year, nearly 185,000 Americans undergo an amputation, about half of which can be attributed to preventable vascular diseases such as PAD. Studies show that minority populations are significantly more impacted by the effects of PAD with amputation rates between two to four times higher than Caucasian Americans. Even more alarming is the fact that up to one-third of patients with late-state PAD never receive arterial testing to determine if they might be a candidate for limb-saving, revascularization surgery.
“This is a significant public health concern that deserves a response from the federal government,” Carr continued. “We already have the capabilities to identify and treat PAD before it progresses to the point of amputation. We just need a national strategy to get the right treatment to the right people at the right time. With lawmakers, we’re calling on the Administration to make PAD awareness and prevention a national priority.”
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