Updated on: 7/23/2015
April is National Limb Loss Awareness Month. According to data from the Amputee Coalition, more than 500 people lose a limb every day in the United States. As part of an ongoing effort to spread awareness about victim support services and the benefits they provide to those who have lost a limb.
“Limb loss is not uncommon,” says Amputee Coalition President and CEO Kendra Calhoun. It becomes more common every day.
“More than 2 million Americans live with limb loss and that number grows by 185,000 each year. Our goals for Limb Loss Awareness Month are to heighten public awareness about limb loss and increase people’s understanding of prevention – especially those most at risk.”
Calhoun says one of the goals she hopes the organization can achieve by spreading awareness is educating people about the various conditions and types of injuries that can result in limb loss. According to the Amputee Coalition, a large portion of those who suffer limb loss on a daily basis are a result of vascular-related diseases, rather than significant physical trauma.
“During the month of April across the United States, amputee support groups, veterans, prosthetists, rehabilitation centers and those with limb loss will be participating in a number of activities in their local areas to raise awareness,” reads an official statement issued by the organization.
Limb Loss and Amputation Statistics
The Amputee Coalition offers these statistics to illustrate the reality of limb loss and amputation for those who are not familiar:
- At approximately 54 percent of all recorded cases, the most common cause of limb loss and amputation is vascular disease including diabetes. Trauma (45%) and cancer (2%) are other significant contributors to the loss of a limb.
- Experts contend that an estimated 60% of all limb loss cases are preventable.
- Medicaid and Medicare paid more than $5.2 billion in healthcare costs related to amputation procedures and treatment in 2008.
- An estimated 600 children suffer limb loss as a result of lawnmower-related accidents each year in the U.S.
- While a larger number of amputations to adults are related to vascular disease, 75 percent of amputations in children are a result of significant physical trauma.
We've collected information on some limb loss support groups across Washington for you to make use of.
Look over the Amputee Coalition and National Limb Loss Awareness Month websites to learn more about limb loss and the many things that you can do to help support the millions of Americans who live with limb loss every day.