Two landmark papers on amputation prevention in diabetes unveiled
Scholl's CLEAR makes strides in negative pressure wound therapy and antibiotic treatment of diabetic foot wounds
Every 30 seconds a limb is lost to diabetes. This is the backdrop for two major studies reported in the November 12, 2005, issue of Lancet by Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Sciences' Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR). Dr. David G. Armstrong, CLEAR's Director and a principal investigator on both studies, reiterated: "We have just commemorated World Diabetes Day -- and the focus this year was amputation prevention. So, it's rather timely that these studies come into view now."
The two studies focus on various aspects of diabetic foot care. The first study evaluates a novel new wound healing technology known as Negative Pressure Wound Therapy, also known as "VAC" therapy. "This is an important tool in the battle against amputations," noted Armstrong, who is Professor of Surgery, Chair of Research and Assistant Dean at Rosalind Franklin University's Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. "The results of this study suggest strongly that this technology can take very complex wounds and greatly simplify them. This is the first large-scale study to lend support to this mechanism of therapy."
The second study evaluated two very powerful antibiotics used in the treatment of infections in the diabetic foot. "The results of this project, which is the largest ever trial of antibiotics in diabetic foot infections, demonstrate that one antibiotic, which can be given once daily, seemed to be at least as effective as one that is given four times daily. This means a lot for patient quality of life and nursing support. It also greatly reduces the risk for medication errors." Patients with diabetes are at high risk for wounds, gangrene and amputation because many lose feeling in their feet. This year's World Diabetes Day is focused on increasing awareness of this very common problem, which can often be easily prevented by a visit to a foot care specialist.
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