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J Rehabil Res Dev. 1999 Jan;36(1):55-9.

Diabetic amputations in the VA: are there opportunities for interventions?

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  • 1Albuquerque VA Medical Center, NM 87109, USA.


Lower limb amputation (LLA) is a devastating complication experienced by some veterans with diabetes. The Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare system has identified the prevention of LLA as a priority goal. This study was designed to describe the sources of outpatient care received by veterans with diabetes who have undergone LLA, to determine whether these persons would have been impacted by a VA amputation prevention program. This study was also designed to describe prior amputation history, footwear history, and the pivotal events that led to these amputations. We found that the vast majority of these subjects identified the VA as their primary source of care, and thus would have been available for enrollment in a prevention program. Since over one-half of them had had a prior amputation, diabetics with a prior amputation should be particularly targeted for foot care interventions. Lastly, prescription of protective footwear has the potential to reduce the incidence of shoe-related ulcers and amputations.

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