More than half a million people who pass through New York City’s Times Square each day will see the Amputee Coalition’s limb loss awareness message on Clear Channel’s streaming billboard. People will be encouraged to visit the Amputee Coalition’s Web site to take an online limb loss risk assessment at 507aday.org and learn more about limb loss.
The only digital billboard with streaming CNN news, weather, and sports running 24/7/365, the 40-foot by 40-foot Clear Channel Spectacolor board will display people with limb loss of all ages and from all walks of life performing daily activities. The messages will include statistics on limb loss and will direct people to take the Amputee Coalition’s risk assessment on their Web site.
Located in Duffy Square at 47th and Broadway, the messages will appear four times hourly, 24 hours a day, through June.
The billboard is part of a nationwide campaign the Amputee Coalition launched around April as National Limb Loss Awareness Month.
The nonprofit organization, based in Knoxville, Tenn, is sponsoring the 3-month campaign with a public education grant from Otto Bock HealthCare, with North American headquarters in Minneapolis.
Thirty governors have signed proclamations in their states declaring April as Limb Loss Awareness Month. Throughout the country, amputee support groups, veterans, prosthetists, rehabilitation centers, and those with limb loss will be participating in a number of activities in their local areas to help raise awareness.
- Each day, 507 people in the United States lose a limb, and 60 percent of those are preventable
- The main causes of limb loss are vascular disease (54%), trauma (45%) and cancer (less than 2%)
- Diabetes and vascular disease are the leading causes of limb loss
- In 2008, hospital charges associated with having a limb amputated totaled more than $7.2 billion in health care costs
- Nearly 60% of the amputation procedures performed in 2008 were paid for by Medicaid and Medicare, totaling more than $5.2 billion in health care costs
- African Americans are four times more likely to lose a limb than non-Hispanic white individuals
- 75% of pediatric amputations are due to trauma
- 600 children lose a limb due to lawn mower accidents each year
Limb Loss Awareness Month designates a specific time to:
- Provide support for individuals within the limb loss community
- Raise public awareness about limb loss education; provide education and prevention information to both the limb loss community and the rest of the population
- Provide an opportunity for individuals to discuss quality of life and other issues they face with the public, policy makers, and the media
- Recognize the contributions of military veteran amputees.
The Amputee Coalition serves more than 2 million people with limb loss and more than 28 million people at risk for amputation.
[Source: Amputee Coalition]