Every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone loses a lower limb as a result of diabetes. That's because diabetes and wounds are a dangerous combination.
If you have diabetes, there's no such thing as a minor wound to the foot -- even a small foot sore can turn into an ulcer that, if not properly treated, can lead to amputation. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for those who don't have the disease.
Most of these amputations could easily be prevented with...
Triple-antibiotic cream for dressing cuts or scrapes
4x4 sterile gauze pads for covering wounds
The phone number for your local wound care center or doctor's office
Although cleaning your wound, dressing it with antibiotics, and covering it with gauze are important steps in diabetes wound care, don't stop there. A wound care specialist should see even minor injuries and foot sores, within seven days at most.
SOURCES: Boulton, A.J. The Lancet, November 2005; vol 366, issue
9498: pp 1719-1724. American Diabetes Association: "Complications of
Diabetes in the United States." Harold Brem, MD, director, Wound Healing
Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery: "Diabetic Foot." Jeffrey
Buehrer, MD, vascular surgeon, wound care specialist, Firelands Regional
Medical Center, Sandusky, Ohio. National Diabetes Education Program:
"Medicare Coverage of Therapeutic Footwear for People with Diabetes."
American Society for Clinical Investigation: "Cellular and Molecular Basis
of Wound Healing In Diabetes." Brunilda Nazario, MD, diabetes specialist,
senior medical editor, WebMD.
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