WORLDWIDE, AN AMPUTATION IS PERFORMED EVERY 30 SECONDS ON A PERSON WITH DIABETES.
RIGHT NOW RESEARCHERS ARE TESTING A NEW WAY TO IMPROVE CIRCULATION AND SAVE LIMBS WITH A PATIENT'S OWN CELLS.
CLAUDELL JONES IS DIABETIC. SO WHEN HE STARTED FEELING PAIN IN HIS FOOT HE GOT HELP FAST.
HE KNEW HIS HIGH BLOOD SUGAR RAISED HIS RISK FOR A SERIOUS INFECTION.
"More than likely it would have spread and instead of losing the toe, I would have lost the whole leg."
NERVE DAMAGE AND POOR CIRCULATION IN DIABETICS' FEET CAN LEAD TO ULCERS.
IF NOT TREATED THE TOE, FOOT, OR EVEN PART OF THE LEG MAY HAVE TO BE AMPUTATED. CLAUDELL WAS LUCKY. DOCTORS WERE ABLE TO IMPROVE HIS CIRCULATION WITH SURGERY. BUT EVERY YEAR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DIABETICS LOSE LIMBS. ("How long have you had diabetes?")
DOCTOR ERIC CHOI IS DIRECTOR OF TEMPLE'S LIMB SALVAGE CENTER.
HE'S TESTING A NEW PROCEDURE THAT WOULD GIVE PATIENTS ANOTHER OPTION TO SAVE A FOOT, OR LEG.
"In those patients where we cannot do surgery to restore blood flow, we actually try and see if we can improve the flow by creating new blood vessels."
IT'S CALLED ANGIO-GENESIS.
CHOI AND HIS COLLEAGUES ARE TESTING A THERAPY THAT PROMPTS THE BODY TO REGROW BLOOD VESSELS. DOCTORS EXTRACT BONE MARROW FROM A PATIENT'S HIP.
THE MARROW IS STIMULATED TO PRODUCE NEW CELLS. THOSE CELLS ARE RE-INJECTED INTO PATIENTS, AND CREATE BRAND NEW VESSELS NEEDED TO IMPROVE BLOOD.
FLOW CHOI SAYS THE EARLIER PATIENTS SEEK TREATMENT, THE BETTER THE OUTCOME.
If we can help them early, we don't have to have 150-thousand patients have foot or leg amputations."
A NEW PROCEDURE THAT COULD HELP DIABETICS LIKE CLAUDELL KEEP THEIR LIMBS AND QUALITY OF LIFE.
DOCTOR CHOI SAYS ANGIOGENESIS MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING CANCER, SO IT MAY NOT BE AN OPTION FOR ALL PATIENTS.
RIGHT NOW, RESEARCHERS ARE RECRUITING FOR THE STUDY.
TO FIND OUT HOW TO ENROLL GO TO http://tuh.templehealth.org/content/limb_salvage.htm
You can also contact them by phone at 215-707-6144