Since millions of Americans with diabetes also live with chronic wounds that will not heal, Lake Cumberland Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Medicine are raising awareness of diabetes-related wounds as part of Healogics’ Ninth Annual Diabetes Awareness Campaign.
In November, the Lake Cumberland Wound Care Center will educate the local community about the importance of raising awareness, early intervention and specialized care for diabetes-related chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers. Local team members will also visit health care providers in surrounding areas to provide important information to help at-risk patients with diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), more than 37 million Americans are currently living with diabetes. In addition, there are 96 million American adults who have prediabetes, leading to 1.4 million new diagnoses of diabetes each year.
Diabetes-related wounds are a leading cause of limb loss, accounting for nearly 70% of lower limb amputation cases in the United States. One in three chronic wounds that more than 8 million Americans live with are diabetic foot ulcers.
Many people suffering from chronic wounds have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as they have shunned needed care for the past two years. Many of these untreated and undertreated wounds have resulted in amputation, according to a study by the ADA.
Factors that can increase your risk of developing a chronic wound, such as a diabetic foot ulcer, include high blood sugar, poor circulation, immune system problems, and nerve damage. Risk factors for diabetes include age, diet, activity level, obesity, and heredity.
The Lake Cumberland Wound Care Center recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:
Stop smoking immediately
Comprehensive foot exams at each visit to your healthcare provider (at least four times a year)
Examine your feet every day or have them inspected by a family member
Take care of your feet and clean your toenails
Consult your healthcare provider to care for corns and calluses
Choose supportive, good footwear (shoes and socks)
Take steps to improve circulation, such as eating healthier and exercising regularly
Early detection and specialized care by a Wound Care Center® can shorten healing time and significantly reduce the risk of amputation.
Contact the Wound Care Center for more information about diabetic foot ulcers or if you have a wound that is not healing. To make an appointment, call 606.451.3820 or visit LakeCumberlandHospital.com