Bulletins

Diabetes and amputation claims

February 22, 2018

Diabetes is a life changing condition which requires constant monitoring.  For many people who suffer from diabetes monitoring blood sugars and regulating diet are daily chores.  For most people their local multi-disciplinary diabetes team, their GP or their hospital consultant or diabetes nurse provide brilliant advice and support, however not everyone is receiving adequate care, which can lead in some circumstances, to complication such as amputation.

Diabetes is a leading cause of amputation, The NHS reports that people who have diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputations than people without diabetes.  The Charity Diabetes UK notes that foot problems are the most frequent reason for hospitalisation among patients who have diabetes.

In 2015 the National Institute for Clinical Excellence Published Guidelines for the care of diabetic feet it recommends that everyone who has diabetes should:

  • Have foot check-ups as a part of their regular care routine;
  • Have access to a multi-disciplinary foot care service;
  • Receive care within 24 hours of diagnosis of a diabetic foot problems and be admitted to hospital;
  • That care is Consultant lead, and each patient is treated by a Named Consultant;
  • Everyone should be given information and training on foot care risks.

Depending on the person's risk of developing a diabetic foot problem, reassessments should be carried out at the following intervals:

  • Annually for people who are at low risk;
  • Frequently (for example, every 3–6 months) for people who are at moderate risk;
  • More frequently (for example, every 1–2 months) for people who are at high risk, if there is no immediate concern;
  • Very frequently (for example, every 1–2 weeks) for people who are at high risk;
  • Monitoring pathways are also set out for people who suffer with Diabetic foot ulcers, Diabetic foot infection and Charcot Arthropathy.

If you have diabetes, taking care of your feet is the best way to prevent amputation.  It is key to remember, you or your loved one is entitled to support from your local NHS services and if this is not happening you have to right to complain. Amputation is life changing and debilitating but first and foremost it is preventable!   For further information on prevention please visit Diabetes UK. 

If you feel that you have not had the right support and you have suffered an amputation as a result we may be able to help.

Here at Metcalfes we have an experienced team of Medical Negligence Lawyers who can offer you specialist advice.   We deal with all areas of medical negligence including delayed diagnosis. If you believe that you or a family member has suffered as a result of medical negligence then please contact us on 0117 239 8012.  Alternatively, you can email us by using our online contact form and we will be happy to discuss your potential claim with you.

Further Reading: 

Website content note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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Diabetes and amputation claims

Gillian Clark

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