Oklahoma's Premier Diabetic Limb Salvage Program
Norman Regional Health System is dedicated to decreasing amputations and improving healing for diabetic ulcers. We are waging a war on these wounds with our comprehensive Diabetic Limb Salvage Program (DLS). It is the first of its kind in the state of Oklahoma. This premier program and multispecialty team was developed to address the needs of this special patient group in a timely manner and coordinate care for the best outcomes. This team is our patient’s biggest ally in the battle for recovery.
Norman Regional Health System has processes in place to look for patients with diabetic ulcers that could benefit from the Diabetic Limb Salvage Program. Also if you or a family member has a diabetic foot ulcer, please speak with your family or general physician about a referral to the Oklahoma Wound Center or DLS program.
The Oklahoma Wound Center can be reached by calling 405-307-6955.
What does it mean to have a ‘Diabetic Foot Ulcer’?
Diabetic wounds have the potential to get worse quickly. A small sore on the foot or leg could easily end in amputation without the proper care. At Norman Regional we take every diabetic wound seriously.
The facts are:
- Oklahoma has a higher diabetes rates than the national average (11 percent in Oklahoma compared with 8 percent nationally)
- One in 15 diabetic patients will develop a diabetic foot ulcer
- Oklahoma has a higher rate of below-the-knee and above-the-knee amputations than the rest of the United States
- Having a diabetic foot ulcer increases the risk of amputation, especially when combined with smoking, kidney failure, or peripheral artery disease
- The death rate at five years for a diabetic foot ulcer is higher than color cancer or breast cancer
"Waiting to see what happens" may be the worst choice for a diabetic foot ulcer.
What is Diabetic Limb Salvage?
Norman Regional’s Diabetic Limb Salvage Program (DLS) is a comprehensive approach to improved healing of diabetic ulcers and decreased amputation rates. This program encompasses inpatient and outpatient services and involves multiple specialists working as a team to address the many needs of the diabetic patient. The specialties who work with our patients include:
- Emergency Medicine
- Infectious Disease
- Internal Medicine/Hospitalists
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Wound Care/HBO
- The Diabetes Education Center
- Others who will augment a 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 the patient and his or her family understands the treatment plan. Karen Ritchie, RN, is the nurse navigator for Norman Regional’s DLS program.
Save A Leg, Save A Life
Save A Leg Save A Life is a non-profit foundation whose mission is to reduce the number of lower extremity amputations and to improve the quality of life for those who are afflicted with wounds and complications of diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. The group educates professionals, students and patients through advanced evidence based methods and community outreach.
The Norman Regional Oklahoma Wound Center shares the Save A Leg Save A Life mission.