BOSTON, Sept. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Recently, research undertaken by the UK’s House of Commons library at the request of the UK’s Labour Party revealed that diabetic foot and toe amputations performed by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has risen by 26 percent. Between April 2010 and March 2013, minor amputations due to diabetes numbered 15,075. This has risen to 19,073 in the same 3-year period of 2014 – 2017. Though the Department of Health and Social Care acknowledge that the rate of minor amputations has increased, it is also important to note that they state that the number of major amputations (above the ankle) has decreased. Regardless, diabetic foot amputations are estimated to cost the NHS over £44 million just in the year 2016.
Patients typically arrive at the point of requiring a lower limb amputation due to tissue necrosis resulting from an infected diabetic foot ulcer (DFU). DFUs are hard to heal wounds that remain open for extended time. Thus, extra care is required in keeping the wound clean and in preventing infection. DFUs are formed in the first place due to ischemia and neuropathy, two side effects of poor blood glucose management.
Clearly, the best intervention is to prevent the formation of DFUs in the first place. This may begin in good management of blood glucose to prevent ischemia and neuropathy, though sensor technologies can also be used for the express purpose of preventing DFUs. Once the wound is formed, preventing and treating any wound infection is critical. However, there are many factors that healthcare providers have to contend with during the treatment of DFUs … read more