Diabetes and Wounds
For a person with diabetes, something as simple as a blistered toe may foreshadow a long battle to heal a persistent sore. If a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) becomes chronic, infections and other complications are common. A DFU can even lead to amputation.
Treatment of DFUs has long been a challenge for medical professionals. Even with expert wound care, complete healing of DFUs in many patients occurs slowly, if at all. The risk of death from unhealed neuropathic ulcers is greater than for breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Among the nearly 24 million people with diabetes in the U.S., 15% to 25% will develop foot ulcers in their lifetimes. Of patients with DFUs, 15% will develop bone infections (osteomyelitis), and nearly 16% will require amputation. Nearly half of all unhealed neuropathic ulcers result in death within five years.
Diabetes In America
• About 11 percent of Coos County’s population has diabetes – higher than the national average of 8 percent.
• Nationwide, 23% of people age 60 years and older have diabetes.
• Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease, nerve damage, stroke, blindness, skin ulcers, impotence, and amputations.
• 9 million Americans suffer from chronic open wounds that can lead to amputation.
• Fifty percent of all lower limb amputations are diabetics.
• 162,500 diabetics are hospitalized for foot ulcers per year.
• Diagnosed diabetes costs America $174 billion a year in direct medical costs, disability, work loss, and premature mortality.