Diabetes Canada and Wounds Canada have partnered to highlight the importance of foot care and amputation prevention in light of the gaps in care the COVID-19 pandemic has created by presenting a special webinar event for patients living with diabetes and their caregivers. The webinar will take place on Facebook Live, Thursday, May 20 at 2 p.m. EDT. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, and even with the help from insulin over the past 100 years, diabetes is successful at being the leading cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputation in Canadian adults.
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes and can lead to serious complications. Diabetes can cause nerve damage, a condition called diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy or diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which makes people with diabetes less likely to feel a foot injury, such as a blister or cut. Diabetes can also result in poor blood flow (circulation) to the legs and feet (called peripheral arterial disease), making any injuries more difficult to heal. Even small foot injuries that are unnoticed or untreated can quickly become infected, potentially leading to serious complications—including the most feared complication: amputation.
“Being diagnosed with any disease already comes with its own host of challenges, let alone knowing the additional risk of foot complications, such as infections and amputations, which can dramatically affect independence and quality of life,” says Laura Syron, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “The odds of amputation are higher than you think for Canadian adults living with diabetes when compared to the general population; are over 20 times more likely to undergo non-traumatic lower limb amputations, 85 per cent of which are preceded by a foot ulcer.”
Despite these staggering figures, evidence suggests most of these amputations are preventable through effective diabetes control, well-informed self-care, early identification of diabetic foot disease and associated complications, along with timely access to specialized teams to support prevention and management of complications.
“Over the decades, I have been in practice, I’ve seen the difference preventative measures can make in lowering the risk of amputations. These include daily foot checks by patients, regular foot examinations and care by health-care providers, ongoing evaluation of amputation risk, professionally fitted therapeutic footwear and early detection and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers,” says Mariam Botros, CEO of Wounds Canada and practising chiropodist. “Most of all, I know how important it is for patients and health-care providers to work as a team to prevent small problems from becoming major problems. Prevention and early intervention are key.”
Preventive measures against the risk of amputation include regular foot examination, evaluation of amputation risk, regular callus debridement, patient education, professionally fitted therapeutic footwear to reduce plantar pressure and to accommodate foot deformities, and early detection and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.
The joint webinar will feature a distinguished panel of foot care experts and a patient who will offer his personal experience. For more information, visit: https://fb.me/e/2sy3AasTj.
About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:
- Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
- Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
About Wounds Canada
Wounds Canada is the voice for Canadian people at risk of or living with wounds and their providers. Established in 1995, Wounds Canada is a charitable organization dedicated to the advancement of wound prevention and management for all Canadians by:
- Advocating for a population health approach that promotes best practices to support persons at risk of or living with wounds, health decision makers and frontline clinicians;
- Developing and providing educational programs and resources as well as supporting research to further advance this holistic, risk-based approach; and
- Fostering relationships with interested individuals and organizations to expand and sustain a robust wound community in Canada that also has mutually beneficial global connections.
Our goal is to reduce the prevalence and incidence of wounds of all types and the negative consequences they bring—including patient suffering and wasted health-care dollars.
For more information, visit woundscanada.ca or call 416-485-2292.
Category Tags: Health-care;