According to data shared with WebMD and interviews with experts in the field, the number of patients with “unsalvageable” disease — disease so extreme that it can’t be effectively treated with drugs or minor surgery — has ticked up. So too has the rate of amputations.

Lee Kirksey, MD, vice chairman of vascular surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, describes what’s happened over the past year as a “pandemic superimposed on an epidemic.”

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