The economics of limb salvage in diabetes

  • Hunt N
  • Liu G
  • Lavery L
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BACKGROUND: Limb salvage requires early prevention therapy, knowledgeable use of wound care technology, and active management of peripheral vascular disease. This field has changed considerably over the past decade, with new advanced wound healing products and minimally invasive surgery for peripheral vascular disease. Treatment can be very costly in terms of medical and human resources. Evaluation of the clinical and economic impact of medical care is becoming more important as the population with diabetes and the need to contain the cost of health care simultaneously increase. The aim of this study was to review the economic impact of prevention therapies, wound care, and peripheral vascular disease interventions to prevent major lower extremity amputations. METHODS: The authors reviewed the economic impact of prevention therapy, wound care, and peripheral vascular disease interventions to prevent lower extremity amputations. RESULTS: Length of stay in the hospital and intensive care drive the cost of treatment. Surgical intervention and complications for foot ulcers, amputations, and peripheral vascular disease are significant factors in the cost of limb salvage. CONCLUSIONS: Not surprisingly, prevention and evidenced-based treatments are the most cost-effective way of reducing the use of medical resources and improving and prolonging productive lifestyles. Future prospective studies need to be conducted to more accurately understand the financial impact of limb salvage.

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