39: Critical Limb Ischemia

Rapid Response RN

39: Critical Limb Ischemia

January 27, 2023

39: Critical Limb Ischemia

As health care professionals, it is our job to advocate for our patients, even if our efforts are not well received initially. Especially when we are deeply concerned, or uncomfortable with the situation. This can be tough, but it is essential for the health of the patient. 

What happens when we are expressing real urgent concern and the provider on the other end doesn’t feel your urgency? 

On today’s episode, our host and rapid response nurse Sarah Lorenzini, tells us about an experience she had when providing care for a patient with critical limb ischemia where she knew the patient needed immediate surgery, but the primary care doctor didn’t think it was urgent. Sarah goes through real examples of how she spoke with the doctor, the doctor’s responses, intentional language she used to get her urgency across, and what happened thereafter.

Sarah also explains the classes of critical limb ischemia, symptoms to look out for in varying severity, how to treat patients in each class, and main takeaways for nurses when they are in a situation where they need to be persistent in their advocacy in a situation like this.

Tune in to learn more about critical limb ischemia and what you as a nurse can do to potentially save your patient’s life, or limb.


Topics discussed in this episode:

  • An example of expressing concern to a medical provider
  • Words and phrases to use that can help express your concern for the patient
  • The importance of a doctor being physically present to assess the patient
  • Don’t neglect the basics
  • Three classes of critical limb ischemia and what to do in each case
  • Options for restoring blood flow (revascularization)
  • Range of symptoms to expect from claudication to amputation
  • Why waiting too long for revascularization is problematic
  • Takeaways for nurses who find themselves in this type of situation

If you would like to check out the 1hr, 1 CE course, go to:

To get the FREE Rapid Response RN Assessment Guide and the coupon code for $10 off the cost of the course, message Sarah on 


 @TheRapidResponseRN and type the word PODCAST!

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