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

ng. About half of ulcers are not infected and therefore should not be treated with antibiotics, the guidelines note. People with infections do need antibiotic therapy and those with a severe infection should be hospitalized immediately.

When a foot sore is infected, imaging the foot is usually necessary to determine if the bone is infected. It is also important to perform a culture of the wound to determine the bacteria causing the infection, which will then help guide which antibiotic should be used for treatment. Because of the complexity of diabetic foot infections, the guidelines suggest these patients are best served by a multidisciplinary team, including infectious diseases specialists, podiatrists, surgeons and orthopedists. In rural areas, doctors may be able to use telemedicine to consult with the appropriate experts, Dr. Lipsky said.

"There is quite a bit of over-prescribing or inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for diabetic foot wounds, which doesn't help the patient and can lead to antibiotic resistance," said Warren S. Joseph, DPM, co-author of the guidelines and consultant for lower extremity infectious diseases at Roxborough Memorial Hospital, Philadelphia. "The guidelines note that when antibiotics are necessary they should be discontinued when the infection is gone, even if the wound hasn't completely healed."

The voluntary guidelines are not intended to take the place of a doctor's judgment, but rather to support the decision-making process, which must be individualized according to each patient's circumstances.


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Contact: Laurel White
lwhite@pcipr.com
312-558-1770
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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