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A limb lost every 3 hours: can Australia reduce amputations in people with diabetes?

Shan M Bergin, Jan B Alford, Bernard P Allard, Joel M Gurr, Emma L Holland, Mark W Horsley, Maarten C Kamp, Peter A Lazzarini, Vanessa L Nube, Ashim K Sinha, Jason T Warnock and Paul R Wraight
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (4): 197-198. || doi: 10.5694/mja10.10837
Published online: 20 August 2012

Increased foot problems due to diabetes means a national focus on coordinated foot care is essential

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) suggest that one Australian loses a lower limb every 3 hours as a direct result of diabetes-related foot disease (DRFD).1 Further data suggest there has been a 30% increase in diabetes-related amputations in Australia over the past decade, with 8% of diabetes-related deaths being attributable to foot disease.1,2 These statistics are especially disappointing given the exponential growth in knowledge, research and published guidelines on managing DRFD.3,4 In order to reduce this significant burden, several complementary measures are therefore urgently required.

  • Shan M Bergin1
  • Jan B Alford2
  • Bernard P Allard3
  • Joel M Gurr4
  • Emma L Holland5
  • Mark W Horsley6
  • Maarten C Kamp7
  • Peter A Lazzarini8
  • Vanessa L Nube9
  • Ashim K Sinha10
  • Jason T Warnock11
  • Paul R Wraight12

  • Australian Diabetes Foot Network, Australian Diabetes Society, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: paul.wraight@mh.org.au

Acknowledgements: 

The ADS receives funding from the National Diabetes Services Scheme.

Competing interests:

Bernard Allard and Jason Warnock are owners of the Indigenous Diabetic Foot Program, which charges consultancy fees to organisations to use their program.

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