St. Luke’s Dr. Brent Bernstein was invited to speak in Singapore earlier this month about amputation prevention.
Prior to joining St. Luke’s University Health Network, Bernstein, of Lower Saucon Township, oversaw the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention (LEAP) initiative for the state of Georgia. In the early 1990s, the United States saw a steady increase in diabetes-related amputations. Since then, following the implementation of LEAP recommendations, the rate of amputations has declined.
A recent study performed at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore revealed that trends in amputations and amputation-related mortality increased significantly between 2008 and 2013. The health care industry in Singapore is actively evaluating preventive strategies to reduce amputations in diabetes patients.
“I feel that Singapore is experiencing an almost identical scenario as we (the United States) did in the ‘90s–with a more sedentary lifestyle, easy access to high calorie diet and increasing obesity and diabetes rates,” Bernstein said.
He spoke at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Changi General Hospital and the local St. Luke’s Hospital (see photo), which together serve the majority of patients in Singapore.
“The increasing trend in diabetes was of course followed by a spike in amputations,” he said. “I feel if they institute a program similar to our nineties-era LEAP initiative, they can halt their steady amputation rate progression like we did. It’s all about prevention.”
Bernstein, an internationally recognized expert in limb preservation, maintains surgical privileges as part of the Department of Orthopedics’ Podiatry Department at SLUHN. He is also a partner of Podiatry Associates of the Lehigh Valley with Drs. Robert Diamond, Jung Lee and Eric Bronfenbrenner, with offices in Bethlehem, Macungie, Quakertown and Allentown.
Podiatry Associates of the Lehigh Valley is a member of St. Luke’s Care Network.
Dr. Bernstein, DPM, graduated from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine and completed a residency in foot surgery at the Delaware Valley Medical Center, as well as fellowships in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery in Atlanta and Usbon, Portugal, according to his bio on DiamondPodiatry.com. He is Board Certified in Foot Surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, Board Certified in Wound Care and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Note: This story was contributed by St. Luke’s University Health Network. Its publication is part of a news partnership between Saucon Source and SLUHN.