More than 176 leg, toe, and foot amputations are performed each week on people with diabetes. This means that diabetic people are 20 times more likely to have a lower limb amputated. These are the current statistics according to Diabetes UK.
There are 2 types of diabetes. Type 1 (about 10% of diabetic cases) involves the immune system attacking the cells which produce insulin (the sugar-regulating hormone). It usually develops in infancy or childhood. Type 2 (the remaining 90% of cases) involves the body not producing enough insulin or the body’s cells becoming non-responsive to insulin. This type usually develops later in life and is linked to diet.
Too much sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels, particularly in the lower body. Any open wounds in the lower body, including cuts or ulcers, can become very serious for people with diabetes if not properly treated by a specialist.
Diabetes UK attributed the high statistics in diabetic amputation to a lack of integral approaches within hospitals, as only 1 in 6 hospitals have a multidisciplinary specialist foot care team.
Treating physicians should ensure that specialist podiatrists are involved in the care of diabetic patients who have open wounds on their lower bodies, and GPs should ensure that appropriate referrals are made.
If you are concerned about the care which you or a loved one has received in relation to diabetic foot care, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01865 781 000 for a free initial discussion, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Freeths Clinical Negligence Department is headed by:
Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) on 0186 578 1019 email@example.com
Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke on Trent/Birmingham) on 0845 272 5677 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester/Nottingham) on 0845 272 5724 email@example.com
Diabetes UK said part of the increase in amputations was due to a lack of an integrated approach by many hospitals involving podiatrists, physicians and nurses, with just 1 in 6 hospitals having such multidisciplinary specialist foot care teams.