New checks to reduce amputations

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MORE than 1,000 patients with diabetes in Scotland have had a lower-limb amputation as a result of the illness.

The Scottish Government has revealed that at least 1,350 diabetes patients underwent surgery and hospitals are to introduce new feet checks in hospitals and clinics.

Diabetes is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations as it reduces the amount of blood reaching the feet, leading to a loss of sensation and gangrene.

However, in the vast majority of cases, it can be avoided. The new checks aim to identify patients with a foot ulcer or those at risk of developing one, ministers said.

Public health minister Michael Matheson said: “Diabetes is a growing problem for Scotland – we know at least £300 million of hospital expenditure relates to diabetes treatment and the management of its complications.

Even more is spent on the rehabilitation and care needed after amputation. The impact of having a limb amputated can be devastating, however, in many cases this is avoidable.”

“The programme will offer new foot care checks in hospital to everyone with a diagnosis of diabetes to determine their risk of developing foot disease”