Zeal to provide holistic care spurs PGI clinic which has registered over 200 amputees in six months
Over the past six months, PGI’s Amputee Management Group has strived to create a paradigm shift from “amputee survival” to “give them a life”. “We have made great progress in the care and rehabilitation of amputee patients despite being faced with the catastrophic second wave of Covid-19. Since its inception in February, we have registered over 200 amputees and it is extremely satisfying to be able to make a visible difference in their lives through a focused approach and holistic care at the clinic, ”said Prof. MS Dhillon, Chief of the orthopedic department. , IGP.
Patients are mainly from Punjab (45%), Haryana (25%), Chandigarh (8%) and Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (10%). Professor Dhillon says the intent of the effort is the belief that the management of these cases does not end with amputation surgery, but requires the involvement of various specialists to address social, emotional and psychological issues, as well. a need for professional guidance and social support for a full reintegration into society as a functional member.
“It has grown into a one-of-a-kind specialty clinic involving faculty members from the departments of orthopedics, physical and medical rehabilitation, psychiatry, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, nursing, and prosthetists, all working as one. cohesive unit to help patients re-enter society as healthy individuals with satisfactory physical, emotional and mental well-being, ”added Professor Dhillon.
Shrishti was six years old when she underwent right transhumeral (above elbow) and left transradial (below elbow) amputation after a severe electrical burn from contact with high voltage electrical wires.
“By the time of the presentation, the child had dropped out of school and was completely dependent on his mother. The financial situation of the family was not good, the mother and the child being abandoned by the father following the accident. We here at PGI, after the amputation, started rehabilitation with counseling and Srishti was trained to use his feet for self-care activities and drawing. After a month, she was encouraged to start writing alphabets and numbers with her foot, ”says Dr Somya Saxena, associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PGI. She looks fondly on her patient Shrishti, who is now 12 years old and studying at Kendriya Vidyalaya – growing up to be an inspiration to many, including her own mother.
“I can eat, dress, wash, draw and write on my own,” says Shrishti, from Baltana who was at the amputee clinic Thursday to share her story. Dr Saxena adds that after a year, Srishti required stump revision surgery and received a right transhumeral and left transradial prosthesis fed by the body.
“She has intelligence, positivity and determination, and there are many like Shrishti, who can lead fulfilling lives, if they receive proper treatment and rehabilitation,” adds Dr. Saxena.
Most of the patients enrolled in the Clinic have had to undergo amputations due to traffic accidents or injuries on the tracks; while a few had undergone amputation due to cancer or birth defects. “As more than 85% of our patients are men, drivers, farmers, workers, factory workers and a majority of them are at the peak of their productive life (25-50 years), the loss of a member becomes not only a personal loss problem but also a financial loss for the family, especially when it loses the services of its only livelihood. More than 90 percent of these patients are from low to middle socioeconomic strata and the majority of them have no social security or insurance.
Approving the need for community engagement to move the initiative forward, Prof Dhillon explained that with the support of the institute’s authorities and some philanthropic industries such as Micron Industries, in a significant move, PGI began to to manufacture prostheses in-house (artificial limbs) in its prosthesis center and now patients do not need to spend huge sums on purchasing prostheses from outside.
Professor Dhillon added that complications from the surgery have decreased significantly (<10%), and this is due to a special orthopedic team prioritizing emergency care. “Patient support from our nursing staff and social supports has led to an increased awareness of life after amputation and the possibility of prosthesis application. The PMR service provides pre-prosthetic and post-prosthetic care, necessary for the successful placement of prostheses and the prevention of complications. So far, none of our patients have rejected their prosthesis, which is commendable, compared to Western and European countries, where the rejection rate ranges from 50 to 80 percent, ”said Dr Dhillon.
PGI has installed more than 20 prostheses on patients in the past six months and talks are underway to provide jobs for some of these amputees.