Diabetes Ireland is once again urging people with diabetes to be proactive in looking after their feet and book a foot assessment with a podiatrist as diabetes-related amputations and in-patient foot ulceration treatment remains very high.
3,179 people with diabetes-related foot complications were admitted to the hospital for treatment in 2021
The latest data, obtained by Roisin Shortall TD, shows that 645 people with diabetes underwent a lower limb amputation in 2021, accounting for 67% of the total procedures carried out in the year. There was a further 2,534 people with diabetes hospitalised requiring foot ulceration treatment spending on average 10 days in the hospital for treatment in 2021. Combined, there were 3,179 people affected by diabetes-related foot complications spending a total of 52,957 days in hospital between them, an average of 16 days each.
Furthermore, in 2021, only 19,540 appointments were provided by HSE podiatry community services compared to 30,536 in 2020.
With approximately 300,000 people living with diabetes in Ireland and so little access to HSE services, Diabetes Ireland is urging adults of all ages who have diabetes for more than 5 years to ensure they have a full and proper foot assessment by a podiatrist or other appropriate healthcare professional.
With such high numbers, Diabetes Ireland is asking people with diabetes to be proactive in having an annual foot assessment which will identify any problems and allow treatment to be undertaken early thus preventing more serious problems from occurring. With the current high cost of living we are experiencing, its easy to put this on the long finger but we would urge you to see a podiatrist privately in the absence of public service podiatry service access.
We also recommend that people should examine their feet daily and be on the lookout for small cuts, changes in skin colour and temperature, red areas and swelling. They also have to check they have continuing sensation in their feet and be alert to signs such as prickly pain in the feet, numbness and peculiar sensations such as a feeling of walking on cotton or of wearing tight socks. This is important as without a pain alarm system, injuries and poor fitting shoes may go unnoticed.
Diabetes Ireland now has over 5,000 clients attending their preventative footcare services in Dublin & Cork. These services were set up to provide people with access to a high quality podiatry service offering a full diabetic foot screen and assessment; foot and nail care treatment and education plus callus and corn removal where necessary. A footwear assessment is also carried out, with professional shoe fitting where necessary. A choice of footwear (shoes & socks) is available at extremely competitive prices.
To book an appointment, ring Dublin on 01 8428118 or Cork at 021 4274229
or book online at https://www.diabetes.ie/book-an-appointment/.
Further information on how best to look after your feet is available free online
See the latest statistics here.