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Limb Loss Awareness

April is Limb Awareness Month - an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about the limb loss community and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential.

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month - an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about the limb loss community and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential.

Each day, more than 500 Americans lose a limb.1

What is Limb Loss?

Limb Loss is the loss of all or part of an arm or leg due to trauma, infection, diabetes, heart disease, cancer or other diseases. There is an estimated 1.9 million people living with limb loss in the United States.2 Annually, the immediate health care costs of limb amputations - not including costs for prosthetic devices (artificial limbs) or rehabilitation costs - total more than $8.3 billion.3

What CDC and our National Programs are doing

In April, from coast to coast, amputee support groups, veterans, rehabilitation centers, and those with limb loss or limb difference participate in a number of activities in their local area to raise awareness.

CDC supports and provides funding for the Amputee Coalition National Limb Loss Resource Center, which offers resources for people with limb loss, their families, friends, and the health care professionals involved in their lives. The resource center is one of the National Public Health Practice and Resource Centers supported and funded by CDC to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities.

The goal of the Amputee Coalition National Limb Loss Resource Center is to give accurate and timely information to individuals who need to understand and resolve issues about their health care. With the help of this information, they can choose the best available options, discuss these options with their healthcare providers and caregivers, and plan for their future.

Limb Loss Awareness Month History

  • In 2011, the Amputee Coalition launched a nationwide awareness campaign with April as Limb Loss Awareness Month.
  • In 2012, 40 state governors acknowledged April as Limb Loss Awareness Month, and President Obama recognized Limb Loss Awareness Month in a letter addressed to the public.
  • In 2013, the Amputee Coalition launched Show Your Mettle Day on April 27 with the goal of showing that amputees are resilient and can thrive with limb loss. The Amputee Coalition used social media to promote Show Your Mettle Day by encouraging amputees to display their strength of character by showing their metal, such as prosthetic devices or wheelchairs, visibly in public on April 27th. Amputees were invited to participate in a photo challenge by uploading a photo of themselves on the Amputee Coalition’s Facebook Page.
  • In 2014, 42 state governors acknowledged April as Limb Loss Awareness Month.

The Amputee Coalition continues this tradition. On April 25, 2015 (the last Saturday in April), they will celebrate Show Your Mettle Day and encourage all amputees to post their photos, thoughts and words of support to the amputee community on the Amputee Coalition’s Facebook Page

Limb Loss Awareness Month designates a specific time to
  • Provide support for individuals and caregivers within the limb loss community
  • Provide education to the limb loss community
  • Raise public awareness about limb loss
  • Provide prevention information to people who are at risk for limb loss (for example, people with diabetes or other peripheral artery disease)
  • Provide an opportunity for individuals within the limb loss community to discuss quality of life and other issues they face with the public, legislators and the media
  • Recognize the contributions of military veteran amputees.

Local Limb Loss Awareness Month Events

All across the country, the Amputee Coalition has partnered with local amputee support groups and conducted Limb Loss Education Days (LLEDs) to reach out to communities and offer education, adaptive sport and recreation activities and an opportunity to network with other amputees.

Here are a few events that will be held across the country in 2015:

The Get Up Stand Up 5k
Saturday, April 18, 2015 - 10:00AM
1385 Old Harshman Road, Dayton, OH 45431
The Get Up Stand Up Foundation and Optimus Prosthetics are hosting a walk to raise awareness and funds for amputee children to go to the Amputee Coalition's Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp.

Limb Loss Awareness Event
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
SSM Day Institute
1001 S. Kirkwood Rd. Suite 150, Kirkwood, MO 63122
SSM Day Institute is hosting a Limb Loss Awareness Event at their Outpatient Day Therapy program for amputees and their families.

Limb Loss Awareness Month Charity Walk
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
330 John Carlyle Street, Alexandria, VA
American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) will hold a lunchtime walk to raise awareness and funds for the Amputee Coalition's Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp.

To conclude Limb Loss Awareness Month, the Amputee Coalition will also be partnering with Össur and the Challenged Athletes Foundation to hold a Limb Loss Education Day/Mobility Clinic in Washington, DC on May 2, 2015.

To learn more about these and other events please contact the Amputee Coalition National Limb Loss Resource Center toll-free at 1-888-AMP-KNOW (1-888-267-5669), or by sending an email from their website.

We hope you will join CDC and Amputee Coalition in supporting Limb Loss Awareness Month.

References:

  1. Amputee Coalition. Limb Loss Awareness Month 2015. Retrieved from http://www.amputee-coalition.org/events-programs/limb-loss-awareness-month
  2. Limb Loss task Force/Amputee Coalition, Roadmap for Preventing Limb Loss in America: Recommendations From the 2012 Limb Loss Task Force. Knoxville, Tennessee; 2012
  3. HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2009.

 

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