The campaign will see trained medical volunteers from the HMC Podiatry Clinic offering education sessions for people about diabetic foot care and help and screen people for foot conditions.
“A person suffering from diabetes may suffer from many types of complications affecting the feet. Usually there are subtle changes in feet, which the patient may not realize. Losing sensation in the foot or toe, and shooting pain are some of the earlier signs of diabetic foot disease,” said Dr. Talal Khader Talal, Head of Podiatry clinic at Hamad General Hospital.
“Diabetic patients are prone to infection since their injuries do not heal quickly. There is a long period of follow up of patients to prevent further complication. We take special care to ensure that injuries suffered by diabetic patients are attended to as quickly as possible. Some time amputations are also carried out only as a last resort to stop the further spread of infection in the body,”
said Dr. Talal, whose clinic receives almost 50 patients every day.
Foot screening by doctors can reveal ischemic changes in foot and dermatological changes, secondary to diabetes. Early diabetic neuropathy and other orthopedic changes, secondary to diabetes are usually detected during the screening process.
“Any diabetic patient, who has numbness of foot, may suffer injuries and may not realize it, since there is no pain felt. We at the Podiatry Clinic offer special diabetes shoes for patients suffering from foot complications, so that they are protected from injuries and infection,” Dr. Talal stated.
Among the health aids suggested for diabetes patients are velcro shoes which have soft breathable leather with a wide and deep toe box system to accommodate swelling of the feet. The inside of the shoe is made of soft anti-bacterial material. Special diabetic socks are also provided to patients, which can observe all the sweat and prevent fungal infection.
The Podiatry clinic is a stand alone place for all of the advanced foot complications, which includes foot injuries, which may take very long time to heal in case of diabetic patients.
The Podiatry clinic at HMC has morning clinics Sunday-Thursday (7am-3pm) and two special evening clinics on Sunday and Wednesday (5.30pm-9pm). The clinic is even opened on holidays if there are emergencies and the patient requires surgery. The facility saw more than 12,000 patient visits in 2009.
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