Preventing amputation in people with diabetes

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2016.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: CPD modules Level: Qualified Nurses


Eleanor Thomas, Diabetes sister, The Diabetes Care Centre, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, England.

Short description

Improve the foot care of patients with diabetes and so help reduce the risk of limb amputation.

Detailed description

Good management of diabetes can reduce the risk of complications of the disease. When not well managed, diabetes is associated with the complications of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputations. Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the feet and cause a loss of feeling. As a result, foot injuries do not heal well and the person may not realise that their foot is sore or injured. Damage to the foot may lead to the development of foot ulcers, which if left untreated may result in amputation of the limb. Preventive care is a priority, but when complications occur the next step is to halt progression. Therefore, effective foot care and timely treatment of foot ulcers are important in preserving foot function and mobility, and preventing amputation in adults with diabetes.