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Diabetes related amputations are at an all time high

Posted on October 08, 2017
Archive : October 2017
Category : News

Figures for diabetes related amputations in England have increased from 140 to 160 per week which is the highest figure ever. That means that there are now 23 lower limb amputations every single day related to diabetes.  

Dan Howarth who is the head of care at Diabetes UK said that “with the right support, 4 out of 5 amputations are preventable”. This includes greater commitment from the government to provide consistent diabetic foot care across England. Nearly a quarter of hospitals in England do not even have a specialist diabetic footcare team.

To be able to control this increasing amputation rate, not only do we need better quality and greater availability of diabetic foot services, but we also need people with diabetes to take more responsibility of their foot health.

He says “that’s why it’s essential that people living with diabetes know how to look after their feet and that they check them daily.  It’s also crucial that they know how to seek urgent medical attention if they notice any problems with their feet; a matter of hours can make the difference between losing and keeping a limb.”

Diabetes UK have carried out a recent poll of more than 2000 people which shows that 36% did not know that people with diabetes are susceptible to foot ulcers which if do not heal, lead to 4 out of every 5 diabetes related amputations.

Their poll also showed that 79% knew that amputation is a major complication of diabetes.

There is obviously much more work needed to spread awareness of this increasing problem, to try and stop this figure rising any more than it is.

What is also required, is people taking responsibility for their own foot health. Daily foot checks are the key to this. If a problem is spotted straight away it is less likely to develop into something more sinister and deadly, so long as the patient asks the relevant health professional for advice as soon as it is spotted. This could be their podiatrist, diabetes nurse or GP.                           For the complete article from the Diabetes Times please click here

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