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Assessment: Peripheral Artery Disease

by Laura French

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Assessment
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peripheral artery disease
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By Laura French RN, BSN
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INTRODUCTION
Peripheral artery disease is the narrowing or closing of arteries in the legs. The main cause of this is due to atherosclerosis, which is a build up of plague on the arterial walls. The significance of peripheral artery disease lies in the risk of amputation as it is the number one reason for lower limb amputation within the United Kingdom. Out of the general population, 3-7% of people will develop peripheral artery disease. Out of the population aged sixty and older, 20% will develop peripheral artery disease  (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2012).
PAD=Peripheral Artery Disease
summary
discussion
The three primary assessment techniques regarding peripheral artery disease are in the form of interviewing, palpating and measuring. An interview of symptoms relating to intermittent claudication and limb ischemia should be conducted. Intermittent claudication is the presence of lower limb pain while walking that decreases with rest. Palpation of femoral, popliteal and pedal pulses should be completed and documented in regards to strength of pulse. The ankle brachial pressure index should also be measured  (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2012).
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Risk Factors List:
Associated Diagnoses:
+Smoking
+Diabetes
+Hyperlipidemia
+Excess Body Weight
+Lack of Exercise
 (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2012).
Peripheral vascular disease is not to be confused with peripheral artery disease. Peripheral vascular disease is an umbrella term that includes peripheral artery disease as well as other diagnoses. Peripheral vascular disease includes disorders that effect veins and the lymphatic system, not just arteries. These include lymphedema and lower extremity aneurysms (Comprehensive Integrated Care, 2019). 
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Ankle-Brachial Index
Right ABI= highest pressure R foot//highest pressure bilateral arms

Left ABI=highest pressure L foot//highest pressure bilateral arms

(Bickley, 2021)
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