Diabetic Foot Ulcers--is the greatest silent killer for those patients having the misfortune of acquiring one.
In fact, they can be even more deadly than several forms of Cancer.
Local clinic Footworks Advanced Foot Care INC is looking to change all that.
Standard care in the province of Saskatchewan has been to treat diabetic foot ulcers through repeated wound care and antibiotics. Unfortunately, most diabetics also suffer from loss of feeling in their feet, called neuropathy, and this impedes their ability to heal due to not being able to feel when the ulcer is getting worse or becoming infected.
Footworks Advanced Foot Care INC offers a different solution by providing the gold standard treatment for the most effective form of healing called the Total Contact Cast.
The Total Contact Cast is not necessarily recent technology but does take specialized training to apply the therapy. Licensed Practical Nurses trained in the Specialty of Advanced Orthopedics are uniquely equipped to oversee the complete wound and cast care to complete the therapy cycle that treats the patient’s foot from a deep ulcer to completely healed in as little as eight weeks.
To prove the effectiveness of the therapy, Footworks coordinated with a supply team at Essity to donate the products needed and Footworks Owner, Patrick Shields, specializing in the treatment volunteered his time and services to treat the patient and monitor his progress. Footworks had previously consulted with the facilitator of the city's wound care clinic, local Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Akinfiresoye, to arrange the treatment for one of their more complex foot ulcer patients.
They are thrilled to now report the test patient, who suffered from an unstageable ulcer (very deep into the layers of tissue of the foot) the ulcer was healed to completion because of the Total Contact Cast treatment in just six weeks. A gentleman who had suffered with his foot ulcer for over FIVE YEARS. Restoring his quality of life and his freedom. This will mitigate a very real need to have an amputation and lose his foot forever--not to mention stopping the next uncontrolled infection that could claim his life.
Shields says, ‘’It is my hope to continue working with the Ministry of Health and the innovative approaches to rural health from the Honorable Everett Hindley, Swift Current's MLA, at being able to provide this treatment to lower income or higher risk populations within our rural communities. Especially to those that would truly benefit from the treatment.”
He goes on to say, “Currently the province will spend annually around $30,000,000 to treat diabetic foot ulcers and the Total Contact Cast can alleviate that cost to the province astronomically. The cast is very cost-effective when you factor in the current standard of care used presently at rural wound care clinics. Not only due to much more affordable treatment, but how it eliminates the extent of current care and the potential of long-term therapy and long-term care if the ulcer becomes much worse, to then require an amputation or becoming septic needing a hospital emergency visit and extended stay.
“It is undeniable that the standard form of care for the treatment of diabetic ulcers is not effective and is very costly to the health care system. Also, the end results are not very encouraging with only 50 per cent of those afflicted reaching a complete stage of healing. The greatest risk is an infection which is why diabetic foot ulcers have a higher mortality rate than several forms of Cancer.
"Total Contact Casting is a new solution offering a success rate of 90-95% and at extraordinarily little cost to the health care system.”