Wound Care Center at UVMC raises awareness of peripheral artery disease

TROY — Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms, and legs become completely or partially blocked. This blockage is caused by fatty plaque deposits that harden arteries, called atherosclerosis, and greatly reduces blood flow.

PAD affects nearly 10 million people in the United States and increases their risks of hard-to-heal wounds and associated lower-limb amputations by impeding circulation to the legs. Although the long-term effects of PAD are serious, 40 percent of people with PAD do not experience any symptoms.

The Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services at Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) provides wound care and non-invasive tests for PAD including the ankle-brachial index (ABI) test, which compares blood pressure in the ankles and arms to diagnose PAD, and ultrasound tests to identify which arteries are blocked.

Potential risk factors for PAD include smoking or history of smoking, diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, age above 65 years, and family history of arterial disease

Advanced PAD results in delayed wound healing and greater risk for limb loss. Twenty-five percent of those with advanced PAD experience an amputation within one year. People who are at risk for PAD are encouraged to contact the wound care center if they develop a wound. Specialized care provided can reduce healing times, increase healing rates, and significantly lower amputation risks.

The Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services at UVMC is located in the UVMC Physician Office Building adjacent to the hospital at 3130 N. County Road 25A, Troy. Services are provided through a partnership with Healogics wound management company.

For more information about PAD and wound care or to schedule an appointment, call 937-440-7888