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Diabetes patients need more prevention services

It has been found that there is a distinct lack of appropriate prevention programmes for foot ulcers and amputations for patients that are suffering from type 2 diabetes, and it has been recommended that improved prevention services could significantly improve the high rate of amputation for diabetes patients.
Researchers have used information taken from electronic medical records to identify 150 patients on dialysis and 150 patients with a previous foot ulceration or amputation from 2000 to 2006. Factors such as patient education, podiatry care and the use of therapeutic shoes and insoles were monitored over a 30-month period. Despite 92.3 per cent of the overall population of the study having type 2 diabetes, only two patients in the dialysis group and none in the ulcer group were reported to be offered formal diabetes education.
In the study, 65 per cent of patients were seen by a podiatrist, of whom 70 per cent received care after developing a foot ulcer. This is compared with 42 per cent of patients in the dialysis group, and only 18 per cent of patients in the ulcer group received preventive care from a podiatrist.
It was noted that “Prevention services for the diabetic foot are simple to establish and can be made easily accessible through organized multidisciplinary care. These data provide further evidence that preventative foot care is not regularly provided, even among patients with the highest risk for lower limb complications. It also highlights an opportunity to improve prevention services for the diabetic foot with simple protocols for evaluation and referral.”

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