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Ceylon Med J. 2007 Sep;52(3):89-91.

The cost of diabetic foot conditions.

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University Surgical Unit, Teaching Hospital, Colombo South.



To estimate the cost of management of diabetic foot ulcers and the standards of foot-care practices.


Patients admitted with diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) to the University Surgical Unit, Colombo South Teaching Hospital during 6 months were audited. Costs were obtained from the Medical Supplies Division, Central Blood Bank, Director General of Laboratory Services and 3 leading private hospitals.


144 (4.3% of admissions) diabetic patients occupied 10.1% of hospital beds. Average stay was 10.9 days. 55 daily-paid workers lost Rs.1076.36 for each admission. Each family has spent Rs.1811.60. The State has spent Rs.14 936 during the hospital stay of each patient. Majority of 61.8%, DFUs started as preventable minor trauma. 48% knew the importance of foot-care but practices remained poor. Worst affected were the patients followed up at peripheral units. Only 11.1% feet were completely assessed by a doctor.


DFUs have a serious impact on patients and the State. Standards of foot-care remain poor among patients. A well planned foot-care program will be highly cost-effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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