This article was published in Annals of Long-Term Care, Volume 17, pp 1524-7929.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in the LTC setting has major consequences in terms of mortality, morbidity, and increased healthcare costs. Complications include pain, chronic skin ulceration, gangrene, amputation, infection, and death. In recent years, medical-legal liability for providers caring for residents with this disease has increased. PAD is complex and involves inflammation and accumulation of lipids in the vascular intima, causing occlusion of blood flow. Chronic occlusive disease causes trophic changes in the extremity that renders skin more fragile and difficult to heal when minor trauma occurs.