According to the CDC, more than 100 million US adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes and each year an estimated 1.5 million new cases of adult diabetes are diagnosed. A diabetic patient can develop painless foot sores (diabetic ulcers) which occur 25% of the time. Foot ulcers are a common reason for hospital stays and take weeks (or months) to heal. Per a Medscape February 2018 article, the cost of post-ulcer care and medical intervention is adding a staggering $9-13 billion to the annual cost of diabetes treatment.
As a nurse, it is my job to show each patient how to examine and monitor healing ulcers and prevent future ones. This self-monitoring procedure is best described as attempting to balance on one foot, while simultaneously raising and examining the other foot reflected in a mirror placed on the floor. And then repeat this inspection for the opposite foot. And do this inspection at least once a day. It is unrealistic for an older patient to successfully perform this antiquated procedure. In most cases, my patient has poor vision, limited mobility, little or no family support, and unreliable transportation.
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