Diabetic foot ulcers – evidence-based wound management: A diabetic foot ulcer should be regarded as a medical emergency.
This article aims to summarise the available evidence in the wound management of diabetic foot ulcers to promote cost-effective evidence-based practice. Diabetic foot ulcers have a significant impact on the individual patient’s quality of life, potential morbidity and even mortality. Diabetic foot ulcers also consume a gradually increasing portion of our health care budget. Whenever possible the focus should be on prevention rather than cure. All diabetic patients must have both their feet examined, with every consultation, by every health care practitioner. When an ulcer has already developed, it should be managed as a medical emergency, requiring an intensive interdisciplinary team approach to avoid potential loss of limb and/or life. According to the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (http://www.iwgdf.org/) only two-thirds of diabetic foot ulcers will eventually heal.1 The median time to healing of all ulcers is approximately 6 months. Up to 28% of all diabetic foot ulcers may result in some form of amputation.