About 66 Brazilians undergo lower limb amputations every day.

posted on 06/23/2022 21:55

  (credit: Pixabay Playback)


(credit: Pixabay Playback)

More than 245,000 Brazilians suffered from lower limb amputations — legs and feet — between 2012 and 2021. The survey was carried out by the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery (SBACV), which points to a progressive increase in amputations during the covid pandemic. -19. The survey also finds that more than half of amputation cases involve people with diabetes and pre-diabetics.

The study was prepared from information from the Ministries of Health, and points out that, on average, 66 patients undergo amputation surgeries per day, and at least three per hour. The Doctor. Sergio Belczak, cardiovascular and endovascular surgeon and head of the SBACV, explains that based on underdeveloped countries, Brazilian rates are similar, but compared to countries with higher purchasing power, the number of procedures in Brazil is high.


In addition to diabetes, research indicates that there are other risk factors for amputations such as smoking, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, advanced age, renal failure, hypercoagulable states and family history. However, Belczak reiterates that the lack of care for diabetes is what leads to the biggest cause of amputation. “As a general rule, the factors that lead to amputation are patients with diabetes who have a small lesion on the foot and who, due to lack of adequate circulation, lack of sensitivity, deficiency in the immune system, these small wounds with large infections and necrosis end up leading to amputation of finger, foot and even leg.”

The doctor adds that most amputations could be avoided if patients had more rigorous control over their diseases. “Diabetics followed more guidelines in relation to the diabetic foot, such as the examination or self-examination of the foot by a family member, or by a health professional, many cases could often be avoided. Thus, strict control of blood glucose makes so that you have a patient who has fewer sequelae due to diabetes and therefore certainly less changes in the eyes, kidneys and foot”.

Among the many cases of amputation, one of them is Marlene Nunes Lamonica, 66, who underwent an amputation of her right big toe. “I’m diabetic and I had a wound on my foot caused by a sandal that got infected, all the way to the bone, causing osteomyelitis,” she explains.

during the pandemic

The research data, going against the trends of decreasing hospital procedures during the pandemic, the numbers of amputations suffered a progressive increase between 2019 and 2021. The researchers associate this with the suspension of clinical follow-ups during the crisis.

SBACV understands that the increase in procedures was due to the difficulty in monitoring the health complications of patients, who abandoned treatment or avoided going to hospitals because of covid-19. “As a result of the pandemic, patients with diabetes and consequently pre-diabetic patients sought less medical assistance. So they let those injuries, their wounds, evolve further. This is how the amputation rate increased. Due to the lack of demand for medical assistance and the people who decided to stay at home during the pandemic “, comments the doctor.

The survey found that in 2020 the daily average of amputations reached 75.64, in 2021, this ratio rose to 79.19, and the consequences can be related to the discontinuity of medical follow-up of patients. That is, in 2020 and 2021, about 2,354 amputations took place per month.

*Intern under the supervision of Pedro Grigori

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