Monday, June 29, 2009

Let us hear from you!

Since January 1, 2009, Encompass Network Partners has been mentioned in several publications, Nephrology News & Issues and Renal Business Today! We are also linked to several blogs (Sharp End of the Needle) and Twitter accounts. We are doing great things for our clients and their patients and want to keep you informed.

We'd love the opportunity to partner with you! Feel free to contact us if we can answer any questions. We can be reached at: Clay Bullard, President, (405) 818-9327, or by email

For more information on Encompass Network Partners go to the links below:

Our Website
Our Twitter
Our LinkedIn

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Study - peripheral artery disease

By MARY SHEDDEN | The Tampa Tribune

Published: June 22, 2009

Individuals living with foot and leg ulcers are being sought for a first-phase research study for a new medication.

The focus of the study, peripheral artery disease, is a circulatory condition that narrows arteries and, as a result, restricts blood flow. People with high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure are at high risk.

Of particular concern are persons at the stage called "critical limb ischemia," where the disease starts to starve body tissues of blood, creates ulcers and increases the risk of amputation.

Local researchers will be testing a new medication that might promote blood vessel growth. Qualified participants must be 50 years or older and diagnosed at the critical limb ischemia stage. Other criteria also apply.

This research is a phase-one study, the first of three lengthy rounds of research necessary for a drug to be considered by the Food and Drug Administration.

Recruitment for the study ends Friday. For more information about eligibility, call (888) 853-4656 or visit

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What is Leg Ischemia?

Leg ischemia is the condition when the leg does not receive the necessary amount of oxygen (via the blood circulation) that is required for the activity underway.

How Do I Know if I Have Leg Ischemia?

Ischemia of the lower extremities will manifest itself in many different ways ranging from asymptomatic (simply the presence of a blockage) to gangrene of the leg or a part of it. Quite often a patient will have an asymptomatic blockage (one that they do not know is there) that is manifested simply by an absent pulse in the foot, behind the knee or in the groin or an abnormal angiogram that is usually done at the time that a cardiac catheterization (heart catheterization) is performed. A person will have no symptoms referable to this blockage and will only know of the abnormality because their physician informs them of such! This is generally referred to as Fontaine’s Class I.
~ The Cardiovasular Care Group~

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Foot Screenings...How important are they?

There are no screening protocols in hemodialysis centers to identify the problem earlier on. As a result preventive strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality related to this issue remains unaddressed. The magnitude of this problem is unrealized until you add to the equation that majority of hemodilaysis patients are diabetics as well. As a result there remains a significant issue of lower extremity amputations in hemodialysis patients. Overall 40% of patients in United States starting chronic dialysis count diabetes mellitus as the primary cause of renal failure, making it the number one cause of CKD (Berman et al, 2001). Patients with diabetes and chronic renal disease frequently present with a combination of the devastations of diabetes including: nephropathy, retinopathy, and vasculopathy. The main focus of the care of these patients has been on the target organs like heart and kidneys. Therefore, early risk factors for diabetic foot complications may be disregarded, and this may lead to amputation--a failure for both the patient and physician. Diabetic foot complications, including amputation, add significantly to the morbidity and mortality of the patient with diabetes and CKD. However, of all the long-term complications of diabetes, foot complications may be the most preventable. In the United States, diabetes is the cause of 50% of nontraumatic lower extremity amputations and is increasing annually (Levin, 2002). The prevalence of lower extremity amputation for patients with diabetes and CKD is much greater than those without CKD. The rate of lower limb amputation for the population at large increased during a recent 4-year period from 4.8 to 6.2 /100 persons. During the same time frame, this rate of lower extremity amputation rose from 11.8 to 13.8/100 among persons with CKD attributed to diabetic nephropathy. The rate for patients with diabetes and CKD was 10 times greater than the diabetic population at large (Eggers, Gohdes, & Pugh et al, 1999). The cost of treating patients with diabetes is astronomical both financially and in terms of quality of life. The loss of a lower extremity or even part of a lower extremity greatly impacts quality of life.

by Zahid Ahmad, M.D.
University of Oklahoma
Asst. Professor of Medicine – Interventional Nephrology
Section of Nephrology & Hypertention