Weekly amputations increase as diabetes care worsens

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Diabetes UK has issued a new report which indicates that the rate of amputations has not improved at all during the last 12 months. They state that the difference between the amputation rates countrywide has increased.

One bit of good news is that the amputation rates in areas such as Brent, London have improved. However, other regions in the country have seen a marked increase in the amputation rate for patients suffering with diabetes.

The area in and around Portsmouth, in Fareham and Gosport, the amputation rate has climbed to seven times that of Brent. Comparatively, the variance between the poorest and the best performing regions had been five-fold during the previous year.

Statistics have shown that people suffering with diabetes are twenty times more at risk of enduring a lower limb amputation than others. About 100 of this type of amputations are done on diabetes sufferers on a weekly basis. This is in view of the fact that the amputations can be prevented if they were offered quality healthcare.

The charity, Diabetes UK, has estimated that about four in five amputations can be prevented if better care was provided. They have stated that the figures show that some regions of the country have much lower amputation rates than others which indicate that if the level of diabetes care was improved, the amputation rate will be lowered.

The government is fully aware of the unnecessarily high amputation rates for those suffering with diabetes. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, has committed to cutting the amputation rate by 50% by the end of 2017. However, he has not offered any details as to how the government will tackle this problem.

Although the NHS needs to improve its care, patients should ensure that they are not failed by receiving the following care:
• Undergo an annual foot check which assesses the sensation you have in your feet and provides you with a view of your risk of foot problems
• If there is a foot problem present, you should obtain a referral to a foot specialist as soon as possible
• During any hospital stay, a foot check should be done. This should be done whether you are admitted for a foot problem or some other problem
• If a foot problem shows up while you are in hospital, a foot care specialist should see you as quickly as possible

You should check your feet for any signs of damage on a daily basis. This will reduce your risk greatly. To keep the development of foot problems at bay, you should maintain adequate control of your blood glucose levels.

Diabetes.co.uk has developed a programme for those with type 2 diabetes who are not on insulin. The programme is available to allow you to gain control of your blood glucose levels. You can obtain self-testing kits from Diabetes.co.uk if you have not been provided with it on the NHS.

Image Credit: University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences

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