White socks

Maria Parham Health doctors and nurses on Sept. 16 participated in the White Sock Campaign, which symbolizes the fight against Peripheral Artery Disease.

HENDERSON — On Sept. 16, physicians, clinicians, and staff from Maria Parham Health participated in the White Sock Campaign to both raise awareness and to honor those who have lost a leg due to Peripheral Artery Disease.

The White Sock Campaign was created by the Save A Leg, Save A Life Foundation to help raise awareness of PAD, diabetes, and the prevention of amputation.

By wearing one simple and visible tool — a white sock — our Maria Parham team symbolized the many patients with late-stage PAD who have had an amputation or risk amputation due to delayed treatment. Many wound-care patients can only wear one shoe, while the other foot may be wrapped in a dressing. In many cases, a sock is the only outer garment that will fit over the bulky dressings.

PAD is one of the most challenging issues faced not only in wound care, but in healthcare in general because oxygen is needed to continue to nourish every inch of our bodies. Without oxygen, cells, tissues, digits and limbs do not survive.

Peripheral arterial disease develops when arteries become completely or partially blocked with plaque deposits that limit blood flow to legs. Just like clogged arteries in the heart, clogged arteries in the legs increase the risk of heart attack, stroke or even death.

Atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) in the legs does not always cause symptoms, so many people can have PAD and not know it. People who do experience symptoms, such as pain or cramping in the legs, often do not report them, believing they are a natural part of aging or due to another cause.

PAD affects more than 12 million people in the United States, which is why September is recognized as PAD Awareness Month.

As with most things, early detection can help to offset many of the long-term effects of PAD.

Contact your Primary Care Provider if you notice pain in your legs at rest, pain that awakens you during the night, a cut, sore or another wound that is slow to heal, a burning sensation in your lower legs when you walk, or if you feel for some other reason you have “poor circulation.”

If you do not have a primary care provider, call 800-424-DOCS to be connected with one today.