Time for action on diabetes-related amputations 13 July 2016 Time for action on diabetes-related amputations More than 4,400 diabetes-related amputations are performed at Australian hospitals every year, threatening the long-term viability of Australia’s health system. Diabetes Australia CEO A/Professor Greg Johnson revealed the worrying statistic at the launch of a new campaign during National Diabetes Week. “Australia’s health system is struggling to effectively manage diabetes and the fact that there are more than 4,400 diabetes-related amputations in Australia every year as a result of diabetes underlines how critical this issue is,” A/Professor Johnson said. “To put that in perspective that means today around 12 people will undergo a diabetes-related amputation. Tomorrow – 12 more amputations. “Experts estimate that spending on diabetes-related amputations, and other costs related to diabetic foot disease costs Australia around $875 million every single year. “Worryingly, surveys show that the general public underestimates the seriousness of diabetes and most people aren’t aware of the connection between diabetes and amputations.” A/Professor Johnson called on the incoming Federal Government and the State and Territory Governments to work together to take decisive action on this national emergency. “85% of diabetes-amputations are preventable if problems are detected early and managed appropriately,” he said. A/Prof Johnson welcomed a new collaboration with Abbott Vascular to promote best practice foot care and treatment for people with diabetes and their healthcare teams. Tom Curnow, General Manager of Abbott Vascular, said the organisation was committed to supporting people with diabetes to lower their risk of diabetes-related amputations and increase the likelihood that limbs can be saved. “Abbott Vascular is proud to support Diabetes Australia in raising awareness of the high rates of preventable diabetes-related amputations in Australia and the significant impact this has on our community,” Mr Curnow said. “I was shocked to learn that Australia has the second highest rate of amputations in the developed world and that the overwhelming majority of these can be prevented. “Through education and greater awareness, we must empower Australians living with diabetes to proactively manage their risk, self-monitor, seek timely medical advice and gain access to therapies that can allow them to live their lives to the fullest.” Key facts • There are more than 4,400 amputations every year in Australia as a result of diabetes • Every year there are 10,000 hospital admissions in Australia for diabetes-related foot ulcers – many of these admissions end with people having a limb, or part of a limb, amputated. • People with diabetes hospitalised for lower limb amputation have longer stays in hospital than other diabetes-related complications. The average length of stay is around 24 days. • Diabetic foot disease costs Australia around $875 million every single year. • 85% of diabetes-related amputations are preventable if problems are detected early and managed appropriately.