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healthcareMay 23, 2022

HMC cautions public about foot ulcer risks

Building on the previous success of education and awareness activities, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently joined the American Diabetic Awareness Alert Day to promote Diabetic Limb Salvage and launch a nationwide awareness campaign themed ‘Early diagnosis Leads to Early Intervention.
‘Save a Leg, Save a Life’. This initiative aimed at educating the general public and specifically diabetic patients at risk of feet ulcers and leg amputation, increasing their knowledge of signs and symptoms of this disease, and encouraging them to take care of their own feet.
Diabetic foot is a substantial public health issue that affects people worldwide. Statistics show that 25 percent of people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Limb salvage is the endeavour to save a limb from amputation, such as the foot.
Speaking about the campaign, Dr Mohamed Soliman Elakkad, vice-chairman of Surgery department at HMC, said: “Skin ulcers are at the root of the great majority of diabetic foot problems that lead to amputation. However, we can avoid up to 85 percent of amputations if these ulcers are detected early and treated appropriately. Education, prevention and diagnostic services remain at the frontline of the battle against feet ulcers.”
Dr Rashad Alfkey, director of Wound Care Services, highlighted the importance of education. He said, “As healthcare professionals, we should inform patients with diabetes who have a high risk of DFU about the significance of regular foot care and monitoring and self-protective behaviour, such as selecting appropriate footwear.
“Other people, such as family members, must be able to do a daily foot inspection and essential duties such as nail clipping if the patient has physical limitations prohibiting movement or cognitive issues. Motivating patients to follow these behaviours can be difficult, so it’s our responsibility to utilise clear and straightforward instructions tailored to the patient’s lifestyle.”
The campaign featured several educational activities, including lectures and interactive talks in Arabic and English.
There was an educational booth at the main entrance of HGH to inform patients and their families, visitors, and staff about the signs and symptoms of foot ulceration and educate them about the importance of prevention and early detection in reducing the risk of this disease and saving lives.
“The initiative was an excellent opportunity to collaborate with our partners to raise awareness and promote Diabetic Limb Salvage. Today, we are committed to improving the provision of the best care and support for diabetic patients diagnosed with foot ulceration. We can make a massive difference to patients’ lives,” Dr Rashad concluded.