Amputee Issues By Ray Edwards MBE
Winter often brings its own set of problems to amputees like myself. Just after Christmas I was struck down with a chest infection which knocked me for six. Having no spleen my resistance to infections is lower than usual anyway, so once again I needed antibiotics. My amputations arose from an infection, in my case Septicaemia, in 1987. It is not widely known that a large proportion of the 8,000 or so amputations in the UK each year are caused by infections like this, or from Sepsis or Meningitis. They can affect anybody of any age, and can even be caused by food poisoning. A great deal of other amputations are caused by diabetes, which is a condition that more and more people are suffering from, especially as we are generally living longer but also can have sometimes unhealthier lifestyles.
Amputees have to look after themselves in winter. Apart from mobility issues on sometimes icy pavements, we often have to protect ourselves from infections, both airborne and to our amputated limbs, which can develop sores and be difficult to heal. This is especially the case for people with recent amputations. Often, sufferers from conditions such as diabetes have poor circulation to their extremities, especially to their legs and feet, and it is very important that they monitor themselves for any open wounds that may become infected, and lead to more serious infections and conditions. If you spot anything like this for Heaven’s sake tell your GP, nurse or carer. Get it treated! Do not let it fester and become a cause for an amputation if you can avoid it.
At Limbcare we help and advise the limb impaired all over the UK and we have a network of Ambassadors, most of whom have been through amputation themselves. We are a fantastic support for people facing or going through amputation. Being a charity we are reliant upon donations to be able to continue our work. If you feel you can help, now or in your Will, please do, we should be most grateful. We have recently opened up a Welfare Support advice section too, as changes to the welfare benefits system has left many amputees confused and worse off. If you need help or advice call us! I have written a 10 Things eBook called 10 Things To Know About Coping With Amputation on www.10thingstoknow.info which also has helpful advice, and from which a proportion of the sale price will help Limbcare.
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