Diabetic Amputations During COVID-19 On The Rise

Published by Christian Trygstad on

A recent study published in Diabetes Care indicates that there may be a recent resurgence in diabetic amputations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on findings from a care center study in Italy.

The study focused on a cohort of 63 patients admitted to a care facility for diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Outcomes of patients seen in 2019 were compared with those seen during the COVID lockdown. Of the 25 patients seen during the lockdown, versus the 38 patients seen by this care center in the first 5 months of 2019, the patients seen during the lockdown were experiencing a higher risk of gangrene, 64% for the 2020 cohort versus 29% for the 2019 cohort.

Even more concerning was the 3.26 increased incidence of patients requiring amputation, which was 60% in the 2020 cohort versus 18% in the 2019 patient cohort. When adjusted for gender, the risk dropped to 2.5. This evidence suggests that the lockdown had a detrimental impact on amputation due to patients not receiving regular DFU care, resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment. 

The authors concluded, “The higher risk of amputation observed during COVID-19 lockdown confirms the need for proper and timely management of DFU patients to prevent dramatic outcomes responsible for a reduction of quality of life and increased morbidity and mortality.”

At Biomedix, we believe that surveillance of diabetic patient’s feet is especially critical during the coronavirus pandemic, including vascular assessments for peripheral artery disease (PAD) using PADnet or PADnet Xpress, to help prevent diabetic amputations, helping to save limbs and save lives.

Source: Diabetic Foot Problems During the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Tertiary Care Center: The Emergency Among the Emergencies https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2020/07/21/dc20-1347