A Quick Guide to Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Among Medicare beneficiaries who suffer from diabetes, approximately 8% of have a foot ulcer, and 1.8% have an amputation. Equally troubling is that between 10% and 15% of those with diabetes can expect to develop at least one foot ulcer throughout their lifetime.* As a wound care specialist, or a practicing healthcare provider, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the most current, effective wound care treatments specific to diabetic ulcers.

Another all too common problem that clinicians encounter is that of pressure ulcers. According to a study by the CDC, 1 our of 10 nursing home patients had a pressure sore. Only 35% percent of nursing home residents with stage 2 or higher pressure sores received treatment from a wound care specialist.** Inform yourself about how to prevent and treat both partial and full thickness wounds, including pressure sores, and your patients will benefit.

We have gathered practical, informative resources centered around these topics, and want to share them with you. Click on an article title, or the accompanying image, in the resources box below and expand your wound care knowledge.

* “Prevalence of diabetes, diabetic foot ulcer, and lower extremity amputation among Medicare beneficiaries, 2006 to 2008,” National Center for Biotechnology Information.

** “Pressure Ulcers Among Nursing Home Residents: United States, 2004,” National Nursing Home Survey, 2004.

Resources and Clinical Articles

Clinical Notes: Decline in diabetic foot ulcers may not be accurate

A study presented at the 2014 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and reported in MedPage Today cautions that reports of the decline in diabetic foot ulcers may not be accurate. According to “Diabetic foot infections fall—not!,” the incidence of diabetic foot infections decreased from every 2.3 of 100 diabetes-related discharges in the United
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Inlow’s 60-Second Diabetic Foot Screen

This tool can help screen persons with diabetes to prevent or treat diabetes-related foot ulcers and/or limb-threatening complications. Find it here.
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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers

Every year, 1.9% of patients with diabetes develop foot ulcers. Of those, 15% to 20% undergo an amputation within 5 years of ulcer onset. During their lifetimes, an estimated 25% of diabetic patients develop a foot ulcer. This article discusses use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in treating diabetic foot ulcers, presenting several case studies.
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How are you differentiating the “big three”?

BY: NANCY MORGAN, RN, BSN, MBA, WOCN, WCC, CWCMS, DWC Lower extremity ulcers are often referred as the “big three”—arterial ulcers, venous ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers. Are you able to properly identify them based on their characteristics? Sometimes, it’s a challenge to differentiate them. Arterial ulcers tend occur the tips of toes, over phalangeal heads,
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