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Br J Community Nurs. 2005 Dec;10(12):S18-24.

Amputation and the diabetic foot: learning from a case study.

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  • 1Wishaw General Hospital, Wishaw.


Diabetic foot disease causes more amputations than any other lower limb disease. Management of the diabetic foot requires a thorough knowledge of the risk factors for ulceration and amputation, the most common of which are neuropathy, ischaemia and infection. Amputations are not inevitable, however; early detection and appropriate treatment of ulcers can prevent up to 85% of amputations. This has been demonstrated in the formation of multidisciplinary diabetic foot clinics, which have been shown to reduce the number of amputations across the world. Adherence to a systematic regime of organization, education, screening and intervention can improve communication between patients, GPs, community nursing and diabetes sub-specialists to facilitate appropriate treatment and prevention of complications. The case discussed here demonstrates how inadequate and disjointed management through lack of communication, education and knowledge of diabetic foot disease can lead to complications requiring amputation and debridement.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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