Vascular Awareness Week 19-23 March 2012
This year’s Vascular Disease Awareness Week is entitled ‘It can happen to anyone at any time’ and aims to raise awareness of this unknown killer that is as common as cancer and heart disease.
The Trust is supporting the week with a poster campaign and information stands in both hospitals. Consultant Nurse Donna Parkin said: “Our aim is to raise awareness locally of the importance of spotting the signs of vascular disease as early possible and seeking advice from your GP, particularly for those in high-risk groups.”
Vascular disease is strongly associated with diabetes and heart disease and is one of the fastest growing diseases of our time. It is believed to account for 200,000 deaths in the UK each year, many of which are preventable. Only about one third of patients have any symptoms at all, meaning that the disease is often not diagnosed in time to prevent the need for serious surgery or even amputation of the affected limb.
The Trust provides a full range of vascular services for both inpatient and outpatient cases, including surgery, procedures and clinics. This enables the treatment of a range of vascular conditions including abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease, varicose veins and peripheral vascular disease.
One of the most common forms of vascular disease is peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which affects the arteries in your legs.. It is estimated that 9% of the population suffer from PAD, which causes painful legs when walking and can lead to ulceration and amputation.
David Cooper, consultant vascular surgeon at the Trust, said: “We want to raise awareness of this disease and highlight to people how they can reduce the risk of developing it. For example, people know that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease, but many aren’t aware they could lose their legs as a consequence of smoking.”