Amputations on the Rise Since COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, podiatrists have seen some of the sickest patients of their careers—but these patients are not suffering from COVID. Instead, concerned about exposure to the virus, these patients have avoided regular appointments for preventive care or injuries, and as a result, they have severe diabetic foot wounds, infections, and in some cases even gangrene. Podiatrists are performing more amputations and often treating patients at risk of sepsis, a life-threatening systemic infection. Raising awareness of this impact of avoiding care is a goal across the nation during National Diabetes Month. Coryell Health Advanced Wound & Podiatry Center works to raise awareness, educate, and help individuals find resources during Diabetes Month.

Patients with diabetes are at high risk from COVID-19 and should take precautions such as wearing a mask, limiting opportunities for exposure, and maintaining social distance. But APMA member podiatrists strongly encourage all patients, and especially those with diabetes, to keep up with their medical appointments.

Medical facilities are following strict protocols to protect health-care providers and patients, including requiring masks and social distance in waiting rooms and implementing disinfection procedures between patients. If you are concerned, ask your podiatrist’s office about how they will keep you safe and about the possibility of telehealth appointments.

Here are more steps to maintain control over your diabetes during the pandemic:

  • Stay Active. Get proper nutrition and exercise. Consider physical activity a prescription to be taken daily!
  • Stay Alert. Track your daily blood sugar levels and your A1C. Perform daily foot exams (a caregiver or family member can help) to look for any changes to your feet, including color, temperature, and even minor injuries such as scratches and scrapes. Protect your feet with shoes even around the house to avoid injuries.
  • Stay in Contact. Keep up with all appointments with your diabetes care team and reach out to your podiatrist immediately if you notice a wound, injury, or other changes to your feet.

Regular care to maintain your foot health and overall health is essential, particularly in light of the pandemic. Don’t neglect your regular care out of fear of COVID-19. Keep your appointment, and keep your feet! If you have any concerns about your feet, please call our Podiatry and Wound Center at (254) 248-6204.

#DiabetesAwarenessMonth #Diabetes #CoryellHealth