Diabetics often suffer from foot infections; yet appropriate care can save limbs, and ultimately live, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s new guidelines.
The mortality rate for diabetics due to poor treatments of infected foot wounds that can subsequently lead to lower extremity amputation is worse than for the majority of cancers, given that around 50% of diabetics with foot amputations die within five years. The IDSA diabetic foot infection guidelines published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases have now revealed that about half of these lower extremity amputations can in fact be prevented through proper care of foot infections.Diabetics generally suffer from poor blood circulation, which means their sense of touch or pain sensitivity can be greatly compromised. For instance, a simple sore caused by a rubbing shoe or a cut can easily go unnoticed and become worse. One in four diabetics will have a foot ulcer, i.e. an open sore in their lifetime, which can easily become infected. If left untreated, these infections can spread and kill soft tissue and bone, which means that the dead and infected tissue needs to be surgically removed, and in severe cases, this means amputation of the toe, foot, or even part of the leg. Leading author, Benjamin A. Lipsky, MD, chair of the review panel, guidelines and professor of medicine at Washington University and VA Puget Sound in Seattle declared:

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