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St. John opens clinic for limb ischemia patients


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April 10, 2014
The new St. John Providence Hospital critical limb clinic is designed to evaluate and treat patients with critical limb ischemia. Ischemia is an insufficient blood supply to a part of the body due to blockage.

When an insufficient blood supply takes place in the lower extremities, it can lead to critical limb ischemia or CLI. CLI is a serious condition often accompanied by pain in the calves or thighs. It must be treated quickly in order to reestablish the blood supply. If left untreated, CLI can lead to tissue death and limb loss.


"At the St. John Providence Critical Limb Clinic we regularly save limbs that would otherwise have been lost due to this serious disease. Patients come to us when they have been told they need an amputation and that there are no other options," said Tom Davis M.D. director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and director of Peripheral Interventions and Disease at St. John Hospital and Medical Center.

CLI can be found in patients with coronary artery disease and those with cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol.

Its prevalence also increases with age.

"It should also be noted that up to 50 percent of patients report no symptoms despite the presence of severe blockages in one or both of their limbs. These blockages can lead to a risk of amputation, but that does not have to be the outcome," said Patrick Alexander M.D. ,Providence Hospital cardiologist with advanced training in the treatment of patients with severe complex CLI.

Due to the high risk for limb loss, it is important CLI patients receive care from experienced physicians who offer advanced and effective treatments.

The critical limb clinic physicians are board certified with advanced training in the treatment of patients with CLI and severe complex peripheral arterial disease.

The goal of the clinic's staff is to reestablish micro-vascular blood supply in areas of the legs that are often thought to be untreatable.

The most common symptoms of critical limb ischemia include:

Pain in the legs and feet when at rest and not moving (also called "ischemic rest pain").

Sores or infections on the legs and feet that won't heal.

Faint or absent pulse in the leg or foot below the blockage.

For more information, contact the clinic at (866) 501-3627.


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