It is a disease of the arteries outside of the heart but if detected early can be treated and managed through medication and lifestyle changes.
During Vascular Awareness Week (17th- 24th March), the team at UHCW NHS Trust will be raising awareness of this disease and the common symptom that could help save lives. People who develop Peripheral Arterial Disease often experience calf pain when walking because the disease has caused the arteries to thicken which leads to decreased levels of oxygen feeding the muscles in the leg.
Annette Wye, Vascular Nurse Specialist said: “If people experience a pain in their heart or chest they would immediately go and see their GP but would probably not do the same for calf pain and may just put it down as old age. However, during Vascular Awareness week we want to make people aware that calf pain could be a much more serious issue which can sometimes lead to amputation if ignored.
“The right medication, exercise, stopping smoking and healthy eating can all help the symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease lessen, and we hope that during this awareness week we are able to reach out to people about this sometimes silent disease.”
The Vascular Nurse Specialists will be available to answer questions all week in the main reception area of University Hospital, Coventry and throughout the week the Trust will be tweeting about this silent disease @nhsuhcw. Patients who have Peripheral Arterial Disease are also helping to raise awareness by completing a triathlon (26.2 miles using treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines) on Saturday 15th March.
This team are also holding a free talk about this disease on Wednesday 30th April 2014, between 5-6pm in the Clinical Sciences Building at University Hospital, Coventry. To book a place for this session please contact Andrea Phillips, Membership Manager on 02476 964747 or email [email protected], all are welcome.