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Limb Loss Awareness Month

In 2011, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and American Diabetes Association (the Association) developed a partnership to address the high rates of lower extremity amputation occurring within racial and ethnic minority and underserved populations. In cases of non-traumatic lower extremity amputation, more than 60% occur in individuals living with diabetes . Of those black men, individuals 65 years of age or older, and the uninsured have the highest rates of amputation.

To address this alarming disparity OMH and the Association are partnering to promote an awareness campaign to educate individuals about the risk factors for diabetes and circulation disorders that can increase the risk of lower extremity amputation.

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month. During this time, it is important to raise awareness around the major factors contributing to limb loss, as well as key strategies to reduce risk through prevention.

Did you know:

  • It is estimated that 1.7 million people are living with an amputation?
  • Half of all amputations in the U.S. occur in individuals living with diabetes?
  • Men, blacks, and the elderly have the highest rates of amputation?
  • Blood vessel (vascular) disease is the cause in 82% of amputations?

What Difference Can Limb Loss Awareness Month Make?
We can use this opportunity to spread the word about important steps people can take to maintain healthy limbs.
Important steps include:

  • Maintain healthy feet
  • Get regular health screenings for diabetes
  • Host screening events for your community to prevent diabetes and limb loss

Stop Diabetes® From Knocking You off Your Feet
Caretaker Messaging:

  • When you are taking care of someone who has diabetes, paying attention to their feet is very important. People living with diabetes can have many different foot problems, some that can be very serious and lead to amputations. But if foot care is part of their health routine, it can Stop Diabetes® from knocking them off their feet.

People living with diabetes are more likely to have a foot or leg amputated than other people. Why? Because diabetes can damage the nerves in feet, leaving people unable to feel pain. This means someone could injure their foot but not know it. Or, sometimes there may be something that looks like a minor problem, but it can worsen over time if they do not get treatment. People living with diabetes may also have poor blood flow to the feet. Together, these problems make it easy to get ulcers and infections that can lead to amputation. Why don’t you Take a Seat, and Check your Feet to learn more about proper foot care visit

  • But the good news is that most amputations are preventable, so it’s important to take good care of feet. There are things that you can help the person you care about do every day, like not going barefoot, checking over their feet, and if there is a problem, seeing a provider right away. Health care providers can teach anyone the steps to proper foot care and show you how you can help. They should also do a thorough check of feet at least once a year. To find a community health clinic near you visit:

Free CME Online Course: Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention & Treatment of the Neuropathic Foot Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) offers a free continuing medical education (CME) web-based training for healthcare providers. The six modules provide principles and protocols for the prevention of amputation in the lower extremity due to neuropathy. To learn more about the course or to register visit: when asked how you heard about the program reference Limb Loss Awareness Month.

Limb Loss Awareness Month Activities
Below are a list of important activities being held throughout the month to raise awareness around limb loss.

Activities include:

  1. Take a Seat, Check your Feet initiative – this initiative of Amputee Coalition encourages everyone regardless of risk to have their feet checked for loss of sensitivity, wounds, and deformities. During the foot-check, participants will receive educational tools that promote healthy feet and proper foot care. To order free Take a Seat, Check your Feet education cards visit:
  2. Stop Diabetes from Knocking You Off Your Feet campaign – this initiative of the American Diabetes Association encourages individuals with diabetes or at risk for diabetes to learn about and engage in proper foot care. To learn more about the campaign visit”
  3. Conduct a Health Education or Feet Screening Event – Healthcare providers, health educators, and community health workers are encouraged to conduct health screenings that include diabetes screenings and foot checks during the month of April. Those individuals who commit to conducting an event and register will receive free health education materials, monofilaments, and a personalized list of community health clinics specifically for your zip code allowing you to refer anyone with an abnormal health screening for medical evaluation. To register your event visit: Register For more information about the initiative contact Commander Tracy Branch
  4. Host a Health Education or Health Screening Event – Health clinics, community and faith-based organizations are encouraged to host a health education or health-screening event at your facility. Opening your church on a Sunday after service is a great way to ensure your congregation remains healthy and in the pews. To find out how to get started contact Commander Tracy Branch
  5. Nail Technician Foot Care Education Prevention Training – An in-person training specifically for manicurists and pedicurists that educates them of conditions of the foot that can increase the risk of lower extremity amputation. The training is designed to teach nail technicians how to recognize foot conditions, educate their clients on proper foot care activities, and ensure nail equipment maintains safety and sterility conditions necessary to prevent infection. Trainings will occur in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle during the month of April. To learn more or to register contact Commander Tracy Branch
  6. Train Others to Conduct a Foot Check and Educate on Proper Foot Care – Podiatrists, physicians, physician assistants, and nurses are encouraged to conduct educational trainings in their local communities for Community Health Workers and Nail Technicians. Training curriculums will be provided along with health education materials and monofilaments. All you need is enthusiasm and a willingness to teach others to participate. To volunteer or to learn more contact Commander Tracy Branch

Help spread the word
We took the liberty to provide you with social media content to share with your friends, colleagues, and partners on Twitter and Facebook. Please help us spread the message that limb loss can be prevented.



Don’t let #diabetes knock you off your feet! Get the info you need to take care of yourself:

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month. For those with diabetes—about 1 in 12 people—the impacts of uncontrolled blood glucose can be devastating. Let your friends, family members and coworkers know about the importance of controlling diabetes to save not only their lives, but also their limbs.

Have you been diagnosed w/ #diabetes? Protect your feet w/ these simple tips from @AmDiabetesAssn:

African Americans with diabetes are twice as likely as whites to face foot or leg amputation due to diabetes complications. George Austin, a loving father and grandfather, had a family history of diabetes and amputation, but even that didn’t prepare him for the tragic loss of a limb. Read George’s story:

Have family members w/ #type2 #diabetes? See if you’re at risk:

Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? A family history of type 2 diabetes could mean you are genetically vulnerable, putting you at a higher risk for it. Find out about other risk factors and take the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Risk Test:

#DYK 1 in 8 ppl has type 2 #diabetes. Get the facts, including info on amputations:

Diagnosed w/ #diabetes? Taking care of your body is essential. Avoid amputations w/ these simple tips:

Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? Taking care of your body is essential. Avoid amputations with these simple tips:

Clinicians, how do encourage your patients with #diabetes to prevent limb loss?

Clinicians, how do encourage your patients with diabetes to prevent limb loss?

Providers, here’s an upcoming opportunity for CME training. #diabetes

According to a 2003 study by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Latinos are nearly three times as likely to be hospitalized for a diabetes-related foot or leg amputation. Learn more and get resources from the Amputation Coalition of America:

Clinicians, need resources in various languages for your clients w/ #type2 #diabetes?

Have #diabetes? Then pampering your feet is not a luxury, but a necessity:

If you have #diabetes, protect your feet with daily inspections:

Have #diabetes? Make sure your cute shoes aren’t killing your feet:

MDs, make sure your patients w/ #diabetes know how to keep their feet healthy w/ these easy-to-understand resources:

MDs, make sure your patients with diabetes know how to keep their feet healthy with these easy-to-understand resources:

HRSA’s LEAP Program
The link to order monofilaments
HRSA’s Online Course: Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention & Treatment of the Neuropathic Foot
THE ASSOCIATION’s Foot complications webpage
THE ASSOCIATION’s Foot Care webpage
NIH National Diabetes Clearinghouse (English) (Spanish)
NIH National Diabetes Education Program Clearinghouse
Amputee Coalition of America’s Limb Loss Awareness Month webpage

American Diabetes Association Health Professionals Resource Webpage
Links to scientific papers/studies, CME, Innovations in management
National Diabetes Clearinghouse (Spanish)

4 Steps to Control Your Diabetes for Life (English and Tagalog) (English and Tongan)

Every Hawaiian Should Know You Can Control Your Diabetes

Diabetes and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (Vietnamese) (Tagalog) (Samoan) (Korean) (Japanese) (Hindi) (Chinese)

Two Reasons I Find Time to Prevent Diabetes (Togan) (Tagalog) (Samoan) (Chuukese) (Chamorro)

MedLine Plus Interactive Foot Care Tutorial

National Diabetes Education Program Clearinghouse

For Healthcare Professionals Guiding Principles of Diabetes Care Redesigning the Healthcare Team Indian Health Service Diabetes Foot Care Training Indian Health Service Foot Care Training

Footcare Blog Post

Monofilament use educational sheets

CDC, National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011.

6/30/2014 6:55:00 PM