Leading medical experts are debating current issues in treatments for the diabetic foot today, to coincide with World Diabetes Day (14th November 2013). Trinity PR is running a media campaign to support the British Society of Interventional Radiology (BSIR) Annual Meeting 2013 in Manchester (13-15th November 2013) to ensure that IR procedures become more widely recognised by healthcare professionals and are routinely included in treatment pathways across the UK.
The session aims to highlight issues in the area such as the need for improved detection and management of people with diabetic foot problems, regional variations in treatments and high levels of amputation rates. Treating diabetic foot problems also has a considerable financial impact on the NHS through outpatient costs, increased bed occupancy, and longer hospital stays. In line with other minimally-invasive IR procedures, the benefits include shorter hospitals stays (often day cases), quicker recovery times and a less traumatic patient experience both physiologically and emotionally.
Dr Trevor Cleveland, Consultant Vascular Radiologist at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield Dr Cleveland comments ; “Across the UK, there is a general trend for patients to present to GPs with complications of diabetes such as foot ulcers very late. In addition to this, the lack of recognition of the problem across healthcare teams means that patients are being identified too late in primary care. As the prevalence of Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes is rising and only looks set to increase, there is a real concern amongst healthcare professionals that the amputation rates are too high. Interventional radiology should now be entrenched in treatment pathways across the UK as a “common sense” alternative to traditional surgery, offering patients a chance to minimise the level of amputation and in some cases totally avoid this drastic health measure. ”
Diabetes is one of the UK’s biggest health problems. According to recent figures, it was estimated that there were 2.6 million people in the UK with type 1 or type 2 diabetes1. With the increasing prevalence of the condition, the incidence of complications including foot problems like ulcerations (foot sores and wounds) and gangrene are also on the rise.
If left untreated, these problems can have serious consequences – people with diabetes are 23 times more likely to have an amputation than the rest of the population.2 However, interventional radiology procedures are now increasingly used as first line treatments for problems such gangrene. Interventional radiology is a minimally invasive procedure that uses balloons and stents to restore the blood flow to the foot , minimising tissue loss and either totally preventing amputation or minimising the level of limb removal.
- Diabetes UK, 2010.
- Diabetes UK, 2013