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The newly opened Chronic Disease Brisbane South High Risk Foot Service at QEII Hospital is making significant advances to fight the battle against diabetes complications and reduce hospital admissions associated with foot conditions.
The service was established to reduce the number of non-traumatic lower limb amputations. Senior Podiatrist Rita Raj who conducts the clinic three days a week said a decrease in amputations could also ease the financial burden on the health system by 90% with each amputation costing $26,000.
“Foot disease is the leading cause of amputations and causes the second largest burden of disease of the four major diabetes complications in Australia and unfortunately, we have the second highest diabetes amputation rate in the developed world and it is only increasing,” Rita said.
“Recent Queensland-wide data presented has identified that 7.4% of all inpatients have been admitted for the primary reason of a deteriorating foot complication. International research consistently demonstrates that multi-faceted service-wide strategies significantly reduce foot hospitalisation and amputation and we hope to follow that trend.”
The service provides comprehensive care to adults with foot ulcers, previous foot ulceration and/or amputation and gross foot deformities.
"Patients seen by the service often have complex, serious and ongoing difficulties in managing their health and will have the benefit of a multi-professional service coordinated in the one location for greater ease and convenience," Rita said.
The clinic collaborates with Chronic Disease Brisbane South, Endocrinology Team, QEII Infectious Diseases, Orthopaedics and Emergency Department to reduce the incidence of foot-related hospitalisation and amputation amongst persons with diabetes presenting to QEII Hospital.