The importance of a good vascular assessment of the lower limb

One of the more important roles that a podiatrist plays is assess the vascular or blood supply status to the foot and lower limb to determine if patients are at risk or not of poor healing due to the blood supply. If someone is at high risk for complications because of that, then steps need to be taken to lower that risk and protect the foot from damage, especially if they have diabetes. The weekly livestream for Podiatrists, PodChatLive devoted a whole episode to that issue. PodChatLive is a free continuing education livestream that goes live on Facebook. The intended audience is podiatrists working in clinical practice, but the actual audience extend to a lot of other health professionals as well. During the livestream there is a lot of discussion and commentary on Facebook. Later the recorded video version is added to YouTube and the podcast version is added to the usual places like Spotify and iTunes.

In the episode on vascular complication and assessment of the foot the hosts chatted with Peta Tehan, a podiatrist, and an academic at the University of Newcastle, Australia  and with Martin Fox who is also a podiatrist and works in a CCG-commissioned, community-based NHS service in Manchester where he provides early identification, diagnosis and best clinical management of people with suspected peripheral arterial disease. During the episode there were many real and useful vascular gems from Martin and Peta. They talked about what a vascular assessment should look like in clinical practice, the importance of doppler use for a vascular assessment (and common mistakes made), we listen to some doppler waveforms live (and appreciate how relying on our ears alone may not be ideal), and identified the importance of good history taking and screening in individuals with known risk factors, particularly given that 50% of those with peripheral arterial disease are asymptomatic.

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