Diabetic amputees forum launched

M.V.Hospital for Diabetes & Prof. M. Viswanathan Diabetes Research Centre, Royapuram – a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research, Education & Training in Diabetes – observed the International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3 by presenting the Amputation Prevention Initiative Research Study Finding and launching the `Diabetic Amputees Forum’ and `Free Annual Diabetes Checkup for Diabetic Amputees’. Prof. Vijay Viswanathan, Managing Director of the hospital presented the study findings.

Former Indian Cricketer, Mr. Robin Singh, distributed free walkers and free footwear to twenty diabetic amputees on the occasion.

The study results revealed that strategies such as intensive management and foot care education are helpful in preventing amputations among people with diabetes.

The 10-year study was conducted among 9750 men and women with diabetes. All these patients had high-risk feet because of loss of sensation in the feet or decreased blood circulation in their legs.

The patients were given intensive education about proper footwear and good control of diabetes, and were regular follow up was made.

The study found that after intervention, the major amputation rate was only 6% (n=637) while in 94% (n=9113) of the cases major amputations were prevented. Among patients who got amputated, a majority of patients had a monthly income of Rs.5000-10000. They had high school education and were homemakers, unskilled workers or clerical workers. They were also using improper footwear.

About 1.09% (n=7) had their other leg also removed during this 10-year period. 27% patients who had major amputation died during the follow up.

“In this study, we made available simple foot care management advice to patients, like daily examination of foot, performing pedicure and providing them with proper footwear. Constant reminders were sent to the patients to take care of their feet through inland letters and telephone calls. With proper education, it is possible to improve foot care practices among high risk foot diabetic patients and prevent amputation,” said Prof. Vijay Viswanathan.

Senior Diabetologist, Dr. Uma Mahesh said that, a public meeting will be held on December 3 every year on the occasion of the International Day for persons with disabilities. The members of this forum would address people with diabetes, share their experiences and also give advice about diabetes foot care.

An Annual Free Checkup for Diabetic Amputees was also launched as part of the event. Every year, on the occasion of the International Day of People with Disabilities, patients who have undergone amputation due to diabetes can avail free check ups at M.V.Hospital for Diabetes, Royapuram.

For more details, write to footcare@mvdiabetes.com