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Correct treatment of common diabetic foot infections can reduce amputations
Date:5/21/2012

AT A GLANCE

  • Diabetic foot complications are the most common cause of lower extremity amputations and half of all patients who have a foot amputated die within five years.
  • Most amputations can be prevented with proper care of diabetic foot infections, suggest new guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
  • A multi-disciplinary team including infectious diseases specialists, podiatrists, surgeons and orthopedists can best address the complicated care of diabetic foot infections, the guidelines note.

[EMBARGOED FOR MAY 22, 2012, ARLINGTON, Va.] Diabetic foot infections are an increasingly common problem, but proper care can save limbs and, ultimately, lives, suggest new guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

Poor treatment of infected foot wounds in people with diabetes can lead to lower extremity amputation, and about 50 percent of patients who have foot amputations die within five years a worse mortality rate than for most cancers. But about half of lower extremity amputations that aren't caused by trauma can be prevented through proper care of foot infections, note the new IDSA diabetic foot infections guidelines, which are being published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Because people with diabetes often have poor circulation and little or no feeling in their feet, a sore caused by a rubbing shoe or a cut can go unnoticed and worsen. As many as one in four people with diabetes will have a foot ulcer an open sore in their lifetime. These wounds can easily become infected. Unchecked, the infection can spread, killing soft tissue and bone. Dead and infected tissue must be surgically removed, which, if the infection is extensive, can mean amputation of the toe, foot, or even part of the leg. Nearly 80 percent of all nontraumatic amputations occur in people with diabetes and 85 percent of those begin with a foot
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Contact: Laurel White
lwhite@pcipr.com
312-558-1770
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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