An unprecedented survey produced by the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery (SBACV) points out that, every hour, at least 3 people suffered amputation of legs or feet in Brazil between 2012 and 2021. The research was released by the entity this Thursday (23).
More than 245,000 Brazilians had their lower limbs amputated during the period evaluated, according to the SBACV. The study, which relied on data from the Ministry of Health, suggests a rise in the number of amputations and disarticulations of feet and legs, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, when the epidemiological crisis took hold in Brazil, the daily average of lower limb amputations was 75.64. In 2021, the number rose to 79.19 surgeries per day. The increase is believed to be related to discontinuity in the follow-up of patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
Between 2020 and 2021, 56,513 Brazilians underwent amputation or disarticulation. This means that the monthly average of procedures was 2,300 in the midst of a health crisis — which corresponds to an average of 77.4 surgeries per day.
SBACV professionals see the issue as a warning to the consequences of suspending clinical treatments in the pandemic, with the prospect that the increase in amputations will continue in 2022. Preliminary data from January to March this year show a monthly average that already exceeds the observed in 2021, with at least 82 amputees per day.
The accumulation of procedures until March 2022 has greater expression in the Southeast and Northeast regions, being the first responsible for more than 42% of all surgeries performed in Brazil, with a total of more than 103,500 amputees. The Northeast, on the other hand, totaled more than 80.1 thousand lower limb amputation or demobilization procedures. Then comes the South region, with 35,200 records; the Midwest, with 13,500; and the North, with 13.4 thousand.
According to SBACV specialists, lower limb surgeries may be related to risk factors such as smoking, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia (high levels of lipids in the blood), advanced age, chronic renal failure, hypercoagulable states and family history.
However, more than half of the cases of amputations involve people with diabetes. In a statement, Mateus Borges, director of Publications at the entity, explains that people with the disease who develop ulcers and progress to infectious conditions require long periods of hospitalization or even readmissions, which can lead to absence from work, early retirement, and a drop in self-esteem. , depression, etc.
“Around the world, one in five people does not know they have this disease. The pandemic has revealed this to us. Many patients who come to the office or emergency services with diabetes complications only find out that they have it after being seen”, problematizes the doctor.