Recently, Diabetes Canada published some staggering statistics on the rate of amputation for those with diabetic foot ulcers, a major and feared complication of diabetes. Ontario reported one of the worst outcomes among the provinces in Canada, with an estimated lower-limb amputation rate of one every four hours. Recently, our Foot Care and Prevention of Amputations Research Program has secured funding through the SPOR Innovative Clinical Trial Multi-Year Grant to take an alternate approach, using the expertise of chiropodists, to manage and prevent this devastating outcome for diabetic foot ulcers. Chiropodists are specialists in foot care and have a scope of practice that includes assessing, diagnosing and treating lower limb and foot disorders. The intervention of chiropodists, when engaged at the right time, has proven to reduce the instances of lower limb amputations related to diabetic foot ulcers. In the proposed multi-centre study (Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta), Drs. Subodh Verma and Mohammed Al-Omran and their team propose a chiropody-led approach that will focus on early treatment of foot ulcers and prevention of relapse for persons with diabetes on dialysis. Individuals with diabetes and kidney failure are among the most vulnerable to developing foot ulcer. This study will measure the impact of this strategy on the quality of life of those affected, the rate of lower-limb amputation and related hospitalization, and hospital readmission. This study, if successful, has the potential to demonstrate a cost effective and patient-oriented treatment plan that will improve how diabetic foot ulcers are managed in in the Canadian health system.
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