Medical Management of Diabetic Foot Infections
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Diabetic foot infections (DFIs) are a commonly encountered medical problem. They are associated with an increased frequency and length of hospitalization and risk for lower-extremity amputation. Furthermore, they have substantial economic consequences. Patients with diabetes mellitus are particularly susceptible to foot infections because of neuropathy, vascular insufficiency, and diminished neutrophil function. The approach to managing DFIs starts with determining if an infection exists. If an infection exists, then the type, severity, extent of infection, and risk factors for resistant organisms should be determined through history, physical examination, and additional laboratory and radiological testing. Optimal management requires surgical debridement, pressure offloading, effective antibiotic therapy, wound care and moisture, maintaining good vascular supply, and correction of metabolic abnormalities, such as hyperglycemia, through a multidisciplinary team. Empiric antibiotics for DFIs vary based on the severity of the infection, but must include anti-staphylococcal coverage.
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