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Effective treatment of diabetic foot infections can help lower risk

The Infectious Diseases Society of America has issued new guidelines about the importance of proper care for diabetes patients who suffer from foot infections.
The voluntary guidelines, which have been reported in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases and involve 10 common questions that healthcare professionals should be considering when treating diabetic patients with a foot wound, argue that proper treatment of such infections can actually prevent up to half of all lower extremity amputations.
Lead author on the study, Benjamin A. Lipsky, said “Lower extremity amputation takes a terrible toll on the diabetic patient. People who have had a foot amputated often can no longer walk, their occupational and social opportunities shrink, and they often become depressed and are at significant risk for a second amputation.”
He added “Clearly, preventing amputations is vital, and in most cases, possible.”
It is believed that the mortality rate for diabetics who do not receive full care for infected foot wounds that later result in lower extremity amputation is worse than for most cancers, especially with about half of diabetics who have foot amputations dying within five years. Many diabetics have poor blood circulation, resulting in their sense of touch or pain being compromised, and a quarter of diabetes patients also are thought to suffer from foot ulcers.

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