Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Thomas Serena's picture

By Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

I had the honor of lecturing to an audience of mostly European physicians at the M.I.L.A.N. Diabetic Foot Conference this past February in Milan, Italy. My session this year focused on our current and ongoing research in point-of-care diagnostics. To date, we have enrolled more than a thousand patients in a dozen clinics across the United States. All of these trials led to the development of the first commercially available wound diagnostic, WOUNDCHEK (Systagenix, Gargarve, UK), approved in Europe last year (it has not yet received FDA clearance for use in the US). A revolutionary product, I imagined that it would have received rapid, wide-spread acceptance among my European colleagues. At the end of the presentation I asked for a show of hands: “How many of you are using the test in your clinics or hospitals.” In an audience of nearly one hundred, only three attendees raised their hands.

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David Hite's picture

By David Hite PhD

Diabetes, the leading cause of amputation of the lower limbs, places an enormous burden on both the individual and the health care system. It’s estimated that the annual cost for treating diabetic foot problems is over one billion dollars. During their lifetime, 15 percent of people with diabetes will experience a foot ulcer and about 20 percent of those will require amputation.

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Kim Coy Decoste's picture

By Kim Coy DeCoste RN, MSN, CDE

It can be quite concerning when you ask your patients attending a DSME class “How many of you have had your feet checked for blood flow and nerve function by your health care provider?”, and far less than half of them raise their hands. Probing a little further, you find that a number of patients have never even had their feet visually inspected by their health care provider (HCP) for signs of diabetic foot ulcers. This isn’t unique to my practice site. Recently when I was teaching a professional education program with diabetes educators from across the US, most in the group concurred with my findings.

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Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the most dreaded complications of diabetes, and represent a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. It is estimated that a lower limb is sacrificed every 30 seconds somewhere in the world due to diabetes, and that diabetes is the reason for almost 50% of non-traumatic amputations of the lower leg throughout the world. Considering these facts, proper management of diabetic foot ulcers is of paramount importance.

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