Diagnostic wound test could reduce diabetic amputation rates

Wed, 29 Feb 2012
A new diagnostic test, bringing a more scientific approach to diagnosing serious wounds, could reduce amputation risk in people with diabetes.

Wound care has commonly relied upon the experience of healthcare professionals to assess how serious a wound is and how the wound should be treated. The new system called Woundcheck from Systagenix tests for Elevated Protease Activity (EPA) in the wound. EPA has been shown to be associated with chronic, non-healing wounds. By being able to identify these more difficult to treat wounds at an early stage, appropriate treatment can be given to greatly improve the outcome of the healing.

People with diabetes are 15 times more likely, than the general population, to need amputation, with wounds caused by foot ulcers being one of the most common reasons for amputation. Wound healing tends to be slower in diabetic patients which can allow infection to get in. Treating the wound early and appropriately can reduce the risk of gangrene setting in.

Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University's Department of Dermatology and Wound Healing states: "Sores and wounds for people with diabetes are serious, no matter how small or superficial they may appear. Making sure that patients get the right treatment as quickly as possible, wherever they are seen, is crucial."
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