April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month! Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month was established in 2010 by the Amputee Coalition and aims to recognize those living with limb loss and educate on limb differences.
There are currently estimated to be approximately 2 million Americans living with limb loss, and 28 million at risk of amputation. The National Health Council estimates that approximately 185,000 Americans undergo amputation yearly and over 500 Americans lose a limb daily. Healthcare professionals expect the total number of individuals living with limb loss or limb difference to double by the year 2050. Circumstances surrounding Covid-19 have exacerbated these conditions. Covid-19 can increase the likelihood of blood clots, causing an increase in amputation rates. Additionally, individuals suffering from underlying conditions that put them at higher risk of limb loss, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, have been put at a higher risk of infection and hospitalization due to Covid-19. Lifetime healthcare costs for people with limb loss is $509,275 compared to $361,200 for people without limb loss. African Americans are 4 times more likely to have an amputation than white Americans. Hospital charges for patients who underwent an amputation totaled $10 billion in 2014.
While there are unique struggles for those who suffer from limb loss and limb difference, Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month provides an opportunity to learn more about the lives of those who suffer from limb loss, celebrate advancements in supplemental limb technology, and advocate for better resources and outcomes for those who live with limb loss and limb difference. To champion for those with limb loss it is not only crucial that we educate ourselves on limb loss, but we must also advocate for safer working conditions, increased research for limb loss and prevention, and increased funding and accomodations for prosthetic accessibility. To get involved and learn more about Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, join the #WeThrive campaign and read more at nationalhealthcouncil.org and amputee-coalition.org!