Study shows amputations during the pandemic are on the rise

Updated: Jan. 28, 2021 at 3:49 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Researchers say since the pandemic began, amputations and tissue loss increased nearly two-fold for vascular surgery patients. Doctors say the problem is people with chronic conditions aren’t getting the routine care they require due to Covid fear and that can often have devastating results.

Since the pandemic started, Americans have avoided contact with others, even their doctors.

“I was just scared to go to the doctor because of the corona I was afraid,” said Corey Boone, a man with chronic foot problems who was taking diabetes medication.

He was not going in for regular check ups and was nearly devastated after a blister appeared on his foot.

“It just got so bad it started hurting me. It was painful,” said Boone.

After 11 months of avoiding a routine check up, Boone rushed to the hospital last November after the foot pain got so bad, he couldn’t sleep.

“They wanted to take my whole foot off and I said, ‘No, I want to see my foot doctor.’ That’s when Boone returned to his regular foot doctor, Jonathan Gisclair with LSU Health Podiatry who he avoided seeing because of Covid.

Dr. Gisclair had to amputate an infected toe, but he was able to save Corey Boone’s foot.

“I should’ve gone to see him when I should’ve,” said Boone.

“We have diabetic patients that we are caring for doing preventative wound care and when those patients and they lose access to follow up they start having problems,” said

Dr. Gisclair says the risk of not getting care is tremendous and he says he and other doctors are taking all precautions to keep their facilities Covid safe.

“We’re doing everything we can on the clinical side to provide patients a safe environment to come into.” said Gisclair.

Gisclair says the pandemic created a number of problems.

“A lot of the patients we see use different modes of transportation like buses and that was limited since Covid,” said Gisclair.

Boone regrets not going in for regular check ups, but is glad Gisclair was there when he needed him.

“I got my leg. I’ve got my foot. I’m just thankful for Dr. Gisclair,” said Boone.

And he urges others in similar situations to take the steps necessary to get the follow up care they need.

Cory Boone is grateful to be able to walk again after Gisclair saved his leg, but he says he is a little wobbly.

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