Diabetes-related amputations on the increase

The number of people requiring diabetes-related amputations is on the increase, the latest figures have shown. According to the data, 511 people with diabetes had to undergo a lower limb amputation last year. In 2015, this figure was 451, while in 2014, it was 443.

The highest number of limb amputations overall takes place in Dublin each year and it recorded a fall in its numbers, from 128 in 2015 to 122 in 2016.
Lower limb amputation is a potential complication of long-term poorly controlled diabetes, however, it is preventable.
Long-term high blood glucose levels can lead to the protective sensations in the toes or feet - the ‘pain alarm system' - slowly disappearing. This makes the feet more susceptible to injury and infection.

Dr Ronan Canavan, a consultant endocrinologist at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin urged all people with diabetes to take care of their feet by examining them daily. They should be on the lookout for small cuts, changes in skin colour or temperature, red areas and swelling.

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