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Know How to Recognize Peripheral Arterial Disease

September 28, 2017

Peripheral arterial disease, known as PAD, prevents a person's limbs from receiving enough blood flow to keep up with the body's demand. Early on, this disease may cause difficulty walking beyond certain distances; but in its most severe forms, it may cause foot ulcers, infections or even gangrene. People with PAD are three times more likely to die of heart attacks or strokes than those without this condition.

In recognition of Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Month, the staff at Salem Regional Medical Center's (SRMC) Wound Healing Center is providing information on the symptoms, risk factors and treatments for PAD.

PAD affects 8 to 12 million people in the United States, especially those over the age of 50. Common risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, narrowed arteries and age.

Chronic toe and foot sores are common in people with PAD, as are cramping, numbness, weakness or heaviness in the leg muscles; however, many patients with PAD don't experience symptoms. To help people with PAD, SRMC's Wound Healing Center performs tests for this condition, treats chronic wounds and counsels patients on how to manage PAD.

The Wound Healing Center's Professional Staff Recommends the Following Steps to Help Manage PAD:


Regular physical activity can be effective for reducing PAD symptoms. Check with your doctor first    before beginning an exercise program.
Many PAD patients have elevated cholesterol levels. A diet low in saturated and trans fat can help    reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Stop smoking: Tobacco smoke is a major risk factor for PAD, heart attack and stroke.
Medications may be prescribed to reduce high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, or to help    prevent blood clots.

If you think you have the symptoms of PAD, check with your family physician, who will determine the best treatment options based on medical history and the severity of the condition.

Advanced Wound Healing

SRMC's Wound Healing Center is nationally-recognized as a Healogics "Center of Excellence" for maintaining outstanding patient satisfaction and wound healing rates, and is one of just nine wound healing facilities in Ohio to earn this distinction.

For more information about the special care provided at SRMC's Wound Healing Center, call 330-332-7415.