Free foot ulcer screenings at 2011 Essence Music Festival

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A health care professional applies Dermagraft onto the foot ulcer of a diabetes patient.
  • A health care professional applies Dermagraft onto the foot ulcer of a diabetes patient.

Save a Leg, Save a Life (SALSAL) and Heal2Gether will provide free foot-ulcer screenings for patients with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, July 1 through Sunday July 3, as part of the 2011 Essence Music Festival.

The groups also will educate Essence attendees about Dermagraft, a treatment to heal foot ulcers. Wound-care specialists can implant Dermagraft (see photo), a product that looks like a small-mesh screen, onto a foot ulcer. The Dermagraft, which is made with human skin cells, not only helps heal the wound but also grow back epithelium (or skin tissue). Heal2Gether will be on hand to help patients find wound specialists in their area.

The screening is part of a trade show at Essence’s Empowerment Series — a variety of seminars, book signings and more — at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (900 Convention Center Blvd.) during the day. Essence Music Festival concerts will be staged in the Louisiana Superdome at night.

Doctors from SALSAL, an international group of health care professionals trying to decrease the number of amputations and deaths resulting from diabetes and diabetic wounds, will conduct free foot screenings and glucose screenings for Essence attendees. The screenings are part of a campaign to help diabetics and people with PAD become aware of the dangers of foot ulcers, which can lead to amputations. SALSAL recently formed a chapter for the New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Alexandria areas because of Louisiana’s high incidence of diabetes: 11 percent of the general population of the state and 13.7 percent of African-Americans have been diagnosed with the disease.

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