Reducing Amputation Rates in Patients With Diabetes at a Military Medical Center: The Limb Preservation Service model

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OBJECTIVETo describe and evaluate the Limb Preservation Service (LPS), a multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art, foot care clinic for patients with diabetes at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC). Evaluation criteria include the overall incidence of lower-extremity amputation (LEA) and the distribution of the anatomic level of amputation between 1999 and 2003.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSThis is a retrospective study of the incidence and types of LEAs performed in patients with diabetes at MAMC. Patients with diagnosed diabetes and LEA procedures were identified by ICD-9-Clinical Modification (CM) codes. Hospital and clinic characteristics that are integral to the success of the program are described.RESULTSThe number of patients at MAMC with diagnosed diabetes increased 48% from 1999 to 2003; however, the number of LEAs decreased 82% from 33 in 1999 to 9 in 2003. Amputations of the foot, ankle, and toe comprise 71% of amputations among patients with diabetes.CONCLUSIONSThe results of this study provide evidence of the value of a focused multidisciplinary foot care program for patients with diabetes. Associations between the creation of the LPS and LEA rates are discussed.

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