Mission Trail Hospital unveil new diabetes initiative

Mission Trail Baptist Hospital registered nurse, Rocky, looks over the x-rays of a recent patient while explaining lab results. (Photo, Christina Acosta)

Mission Trail Baptist Hospital recently announced the Amputation Prevention Program (APP) aimed at reducing the number of procedures occurring as a result of complications from diabetes.

The APP gives specialists the opportunity to intervene with the patients quicker once the discovery of the lower extremity wound or upon admission. Once the specialist sees the patient within 24 hours, a plan of care is developed for the patient.

“It was necessary to have this program because people from the South Side are more prone to diabetes,” said Mission Trail Baptist Hospital Certified Wound Specialist Dr. Fernando E. Karst. “If you come to this hospital, we take care of our patients.”

On average, people living on the South Side also experience a higher rate of diabetes and a shortened life expectancy as a result. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), more than 60 percent of amputations in the U.S. are performed on patients with diabetes. Meanwhile, it is estimated that 60 percent of amputations can be prevented.

During each session, the specialties involved are Vascular, Wound Care, Orthopedic and Podiatry. Each specialty speaks to the patient at length about their overall health and how it affects wound recovery.

Patients are then given information about their diagnosis; and how it affects it and hinders healing, through literature and discussions with the staff and a diabetic educator.

In order to further assist patients at risk of amputation, Mission Trails Baptist Hospital also hosts a diabetes support group once a month from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Medical and other professionals provide resources for emotional and medical needs and offer encouragement to get through the struggles of diabetes.

Topics and resources include experts, physicians, clinicians, dieticians and pastoral care.

In the event that one has to undergo a procedure, The Baptist Health System aids the patient in  learning how to use amputation-specific equipment; increase your strength, endurance, flexibility, and range of motion; properly care for your skin; complete self-care tasks safely, including dressing, bathing and transferring to and from the toilet or shower; undergo prosthetic and orthotic assessments for discharge needs; and transfer to and from the car.

Baptist Inpatient Rehab Centers also offer access to peer mentors, who have also dealt with amputee related issues. The peer mentor can be an excellent help in providing insight and hope for the future.

By continuing to follow the patient’s care outside of the hospital, the specialists are able to monitor the progress of the wound and make changes as needed,” said Mission Trail Baptist Hospital wound care nurse Dominica Mclendon, RN.

The next APP meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19th at 5:30 p.m. at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital Medical Office Building, Education Classroom 3A/3B on the second floor. The next for the Diabetes Support Group will take place on Tuesday, Jan.16 at 4:30 p.m., with the theme “Diabetes and You.”

For more information about both programs, call Baptist Health System at 1- 800-667-4576 or visit www.baptisthealthsystem.com