Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Norman Regional Health System is Oklahoma's first and only Diabetic Limb Salvage Program. This comprehensive approach to improve healing of diabetic ulcers and decreased amputation rates utilizes a multispecialty team developed to address the needs of this special patient group in a timely manner.

Diabetics have a 10 times higher rate of amputation than non-diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association, and 85% of amputations are preceded by non-healing foot ulcers.

"Diabetes and wounds are a dangerous combination: even a small sore on the foot can lead to a leg amputation," said Karen Richie, Nurse Navigator Oklahoma Wound Center. "Oklahoma has a very high rate of both diabetes and leg amputations. But, the good news is that the Norman Regional Hospital System is waging war on diabetic wounds. The Diabetic Limb Salvage program is the state’s first comprehensive program dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of diabetic wounds. By using a team approach we are making a difference."

Oklahoma has a higher diabetes rate than the national average. Diabetic wounds have the potential to get worse quickly. A small sore on the foot or leg can easily end in amputation without the proper care. Norman Regional's DLS program involves multiple specialists working as a team to address the many needs of diabetic patients. The specialists working with the program include: Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology, Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine/Hospitalists, Orthopedic Surgery, Podiatry, Vascular, Wound Care, and others who augment the patient's treatment including experts in the fields of diabetes, nutrition, and tobacco cessation.

The inpatient program is coordinated by the DLS nurse navigator to ensure patients and their families understand their specific treatment plan. The Oklahoma Wound Center, located at the Norman Regional Heart Plaza, is the central hub for the outpatient DLS program. The Center provides advanced wound care including hyperbaric oxygen therapy and specialized dressings such as negative pressure wound therapy, biological alternative tissue, and total contact casting. For more information on Norman Regiona's Diabetic Limb Salvage Program, call (405) 515-0025.