National Rate of Diabetes Related Amputations On the Rise

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The Centers for Disease Control say amputations are on the rise, up 27 percent from 2010 to 2014. Before that, experts say the rate had been dropping. So what’s to blame for the mysterious increase? Some say the growing rate of people diagnosed with diabetes has a lot to do with the rise.

The Need for Amputation

Amputation can save the life of a diabetes patient, but it’s considered a last ditch effort to control infection. The reality is that amputations result in an increased need for social services, a decrease in a person’s sense of independence, and expensive medical costs. Amputations are the worst case scenario approach and should be used only when other strategies don’t work.

Some experts say doctors today are too quick to amputate their patient’s limbs when wounds are not as bad as they could be. While in some extreme cases, it is unlikely that a person’s wounds will heal, that is generally not the norm. Doctors who are ready to amputate at the first sign of trouble are part of the problem, some say.

Problems with Patients

Others say patients not taking their diabetes diagnosis seriously is part of the problem. Once diagnosed, some believe they can continue to eat the way they always have and simply take a pill to combat symptoms. This is rarely a successful path, and when an infection sets in, some patients fail to recognize it for what it is. By the time they do, it is often too late to save the limb.