Diabetes related amputation of lower limbs
Headline news today was of the huge regional variability in levels of lower limb amputations in those suffering from diabetes.
The levels vary from 2 in 10,000 to 22 in 10,000 in some areas. An expert in the field called the variance “shocking“. He went on to say that foot disease is “very complicated” and that to treat it properly a multi-disciplinary team needed to be involved in care as it was unlikely that a single professional would have the necessary skills. This research backs up previous results which reported that it was thought that up to 80% of these amputations were ‘avoidable’, which is a worrying statistic.
Trefine Maynard, a clinical negligence solicitor with specialist firm Ashtons Legal, says: “We have had a worrying amount of cases over the years involving patients with diabetes who have ended up losing lower limbs from what started as very minor injuries. Many of these cases have reached a successful conclusion but all of our clients would have far rather had their limbs rather than the damages awarded. The loss of a leg can have a devastating effect on quality of life especially when, as is all too often the case, this happens to the elderly. I very much hope that todays report is a spur to a thorough review of this area of health care and leads rapidly to a much higher awareness in all those treating patients with diabetes of the need to take any injury seriously. The financial cost to the NHS from an amputation is said to be far higher than the cost of giving appropriate treatment in the first place and avoiding the amputation. However it is the urgent need to avoid the personal cost to those affected both in terms of pain and loss of quality of life that should be recognised as being the major spur to a reorganisation of these services and improvement in the provision of suitable multi disciplinary teams across all regions.”
How can we help?
If you have an enquiry or you would like to find out more about our services, why not contact us?