Study: Veterans Who Receive Prosthesis Prescription Within 1 Year Post-amputation Have Lower Mortality Rates

Tina DiMarcantonio | Healio O&P News | November 1, 2015

Researchers emphasize importance of patient-centered care for improved outcomes.

Veterans with lower limb amputations were less likely to die within 3 years of surgery if they received a prescription for a prosthetic limb within 1 year after amputation, according to data recently published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development.“Time is of the essence,” said study author Jibby E. Kurichi, MPH, of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “It may be important that patients with amputations who are initially clinically appropriate for a prosthetic limb prescription be stabilized as soon as possible so that they might receive the prostheses in as timely a manner as possible.”

Kurichi and colleagues had previously found that younger veterans, those with transtibial rather than transfemoral lower limb amputations and those with higher physical and cognitive abilities are more likely to receive a prescription for a prosthetic limb. They also found that factors negatively influencing prosthetic limb receipt include admission to the hospital from extended care rather than home, numerous amputation etiologies, comorbidities and undergoing certain procedures when hospitalized. Older age, higher amputation level, more comorbidities, inpatient procedures for pulmonary and renal problems, central nervous system procedures, treatment in the intensive care unit or medical bed section and regional differences have been associated with mortality 1 year post surgery...