Limb Preservation Program welcome health care asset

A community’s residents want to know that their health care needs can be met promptly, effectively and, if possible, locally. Local health care services aid access to needed care, and make it more likely that people will get the care they need.

That’s why the launch of the Limb Preservation Program by Columbus Regional Hospital is welcome news.

The program is in response to the growing number of people who have diabetes, both statewide and nationally. 

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is too high. That increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, nerve damage and other conditions. Poorly controlled blood sugar can limit blood flow to the lower legs and toes, which leads to nerve damage and wounds and sores that don’t heal properly. Untreated sores and wounds could require lower-limb amputation.

In Bartholomew County, 10.6 percent of adults ages 18 or older had diabetes in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, the increasing number of people that CRH’s Wound Center has treated is a good barometer of the need for diabetes services locally. The Wound Center treated 466 patients in 2011, but 672 in 2018, according to CRH. And, as of Oct. 2, the Wound Center had already treated 552 — a figure that projects to 732 for the year. CRH estimated that 50 to 60 percent of those patients are diabetic.

The Limb Preservation Program is a welcome addition to the county as a resource for residents, and a helpful asset in the local health care tool box.