The amputation rate in Fresno County is almost 50 percent higher than the statewide rate. In this article doctors in the county struggle to explain the discrepancy. There is consensus that these amputations are due to diabetes but why is the number so out of whack? Some point out that nearby counties with the same socioeconomics and numbers of diabetes patients have lower amputation rates. The article quotes local cardiologist Dr. Rohit Sundrani, who blames the numbers on lack of immediate treatment: “Sundrani said that too often, low-income patients without insurance or on Medi-Cal, the state-federal health insurance program, can wait weeks for appointments with primary-care doctors, and the wait can be even longer for referrals to specialists — if someone can be found who accepts the government reimbursement, which is among the lowest in the country.”

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People in Fresno County are more likely to have toes, feet and legs amputated than almost anywhere in California, a ranking that has doctors and podiatrists debating what can be done to prevent the loss of limbs.

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Rachel Dornhelm

Rachel Dornhelm has worked as a reporter, editor and producer in public radio for the last twelve years. She got her start in New York City at WNYC and went on to work with the national business program Marketplace, WBUR’s “On Point” and KQED News in San Francisco. Her work has been honored by the LA Press Club and the SF-Peninsula Press Club.

Rachel has a BA with honors in anthropology from Rice University and did graduate work at NYU.

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