4th February 2013 - People with diabetes are 15 times more likely to need an amputation than the general population. Now, diabetes patients in Scotland are to receive new feet checks in hospital as the latest figures reveal over 1,350 Scots have lost a leg due to the illness.
Diabetes is the leading cause of lower-limb amputation as it reduces the amount of blood reaching the feet, leading to a loss of sensation that can result in injuries, ulcers, infection and ultimately gangrene. In the vast majority of cases, however, gangrene can be avoided with early detection and treatment.
The new checks, known as 'CPR for Feet', aim to identify patients with a foot ulcer or those at risk of developing them and will be offered at hospitals and foot clinics.
Staff will be encouraged to:
Check - When a patient with diabetes is admitted to hospital their feet should be checked for any existing foot ulcers.
Protect - If a patient has had a previous foot problem or is at risk of developing a foot problem care should be taken to protect the patient's feet.
Refer - Patients who have a current foot ulcer and those at high risk of developing a foot ulcer during their stay in hospital should be referred to the Podiatry Department.
Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson says in a press release:"The impact of having a limb amputated can be devastating and can dramatically change someone's life. However in many cases this is avoidable.
"That is why we are so committed to ensuring that people with diabetes have access to the best possible care so that the risks of amputation are minimised. The diabetes community have already made great progress - more people than ever before are now getting their feet checked and access to the care and support they need.
"The new 'CPR for Feet' programme will offer new foot care checks in hospital to everyone with a diagnosis of diabetes to determine their risk of developing foot disease, and gives them the information and support that they need to reduce that risk."
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