Updated diabetic foot disease guidelines are published

By Editor
21st January 2020
Care planning, Footcare Good practice

Evidence‐based guidelines on the prevention and management of diabetic foot disease have been published.

The International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF) has been producing evidence-based guidelines on the prevention and management of diabetic foot disease since 1999.

Last year the organisation updated its guidance, based on systematic reviews of the literature and formulation of recommendations by multidisciplinary experts from all over the world, and the newly updated document has just been published.

The document entitled, IWGDF Guidelines on the Prevention and Management of Diabetic Foot Disease, looks at the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in people with foot ulcers and diabetes.

It also describes the organisational levels to successfully prevent and treat diabetic foot disease according to the IWGDF’s principles.

Implementing prevention

The information in the guidelines is aimed at the global community of healthcare professionals who are involved in the care of people with diabetes.

Many studies around the world support the organisation’s belief that implementing prevention and management principles is associated with a decrease in the frequency of diabetes-related lower-extremity amputations.

Up to half of people with diabetes and foot ulceration have concurrent PAD, which significantly increases their risk of adverse limb events and cardiovascular disease.

In many people with diabetes, PAD may remain undiagnosed until the person experiences severe tissue loss. This is because many people typically lack the classic preceding clinical symptoms of PAD such as claudication or rest pain.

Diagnostic tests may be less reliable due to the presence of peripheral neuropathy, medial arterial calcification and peripheral oedema.

However, it is important to identify PAD in people with diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) at the earliest possible stage, as the presence of the condition is associated with increased risk of nonhealing ulcers, infection, and major limb amputation, as well as an elevated risk of cardiovascular morbidity and overall mortality.

To read the guidelines, click here.

Picture credit: Brina Blum

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