Structured health care for subjects with diabetic foot ulcers results in a reduction of major amputation rates
1 Department of Diabetes, Interdisciplinary Diabetic Foot Unit, Weisseritztal-Kliniken, Freital, Germany
2 Department of Vascular Surgery, Weisseritztal-Kliniken, Freital, Germany
3 Department of Interventional Angiology, Weisseritztal-Kliniken, Freital, Germany
4 Department of Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Clinic Bavaria Kreischa, Kreischa, Germany
5 Technical University Dresden, III Medical Clinic, Dresden, Germany
6 Endokrinologikum, Bochum, Germany
7 Center for Clinical Studies, Technical University GWT-TUD GmbH Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Cardiovascular Diabetology 2013, 12:45 doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-45Published: 13 March 2013
We tested the effects of structured health care for the diabetic foot in one region in Germany aiming to reduce the number of major amputations.
Research design and methods
In a prospective study we investigated patients with diabetic foot in a structured system of outpatient, in-patient and rehabilitative treatment. Subjects were recruited between January 1st, 2000 and December 31, 2007. All participants underwent a two-year follow-up. The modified University of Texas Wound Classification System (UT) was the basis for documentation and data analysis. We evaluated numbers of major amputations, rates of ulcer healing and mortality. In order to compare the effect of the structured health care program with usual care in patients with diabetic foot we evaluated the same parameters at another regional hospital without interdisciplinary care of diabetic foot (controls).
684 patients with diabetic foot and 508 controls were investigated. At discharge from hospital 28.3% (structured health care program, SHC) vs. 23.0% (controls) of all ulcers had healed completely. 51.5% (SHC) vs. 49.8% (controls) were in UT grade 1.
Major amputations were performed in 32 subjects of the structured health care program group (4.7%) vs. 110 (21.7%) in controls (p<0.0001). Mortality during hospitalization was 2.5% (SHC) vs. 9.4% in controls (p<0.001).
With the structured health care program we achieved a significant reduction of major amputation rates by more than 75% as compared to standard care.