Management of Hospitalized Patients with Diabetic Foot Infections
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Diabetic foot infections (DFIs), which present with a variety of clinical manifestations, are commonly encountered by clinicians. They are associated with a high morbidity, a high amputation rate, a high mortality, and increased health care costs. An effective management of DFIs requires a multidisciplinary approach with a strong collaboration among all involved health care providers as well as patient involvement. Diagnosing DFIs appropriately requires consideration of the clinical symptoms and signs of infection in addition to supplementary laboratory testing such as inflammatory markers and imaging studies. The comprehensive patient assessment should include the predisposing risk factors for infection; the type, severity, and extent of the infection; and the assessment of neurologic and vascular status, comorbid conditions, and psychosocial factors. The comprehensive management of DFIs include not only effective antibiotic therapy but also surgical debridement, pressure offloading, wound care and moisture, maintaining good vascular perfusion, control of edema and pain, correction of metabolic abnormalities such as hyperglycemia, and addressing psychosocial and nutritional issues. Discharge planning that addresses full medical and social needs along with suitable follow-up, patient education and counseling, and clear communication with outpatient providers are critical for ensuring a safe and successful transition to outpatient management of hospitalized patients with DFIs.
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