Home' Australian Pharmacist : August 2011 Contents Vol.30–August#08
The articles in this series are independently researched and compiled by PSA commissioned authors and peer reviewed.
To promote the benefits of good
diabetic foot care, pharmacists may
consider holding a diabetes foot
health promotion activity in the
pharmacy. This activity could coincide
with National Diabetes Week from
10–16 July which aims to raise the
awareness of Type 2 diabetes in the
community. For further information
refer to the Diabetes Australia
Consider the following points when
planning to hold this type of activity:
• Inform your staff about any future
health promotion in the pharmacy.
Provide a diabetic foot information
session for the pharmacy staff as
they will be receiving questions
from consumers about diabetic foot
care. Ensure the pharmacy staff
know which products are safest to
use in patients with diabetes and
which products should be avoided.
• Distribute information on foot care,
outlining why it is so important
to every patient with diabetes.
Consumer information is available
from the Diabetes Australia website
in many different languages as
well as from the Diabetes Australia
Healthy feet are Happy Feet
• Specifically target patients who are
at extreme high risk of developing
foot ulceration. Interventions
can reduce the risk of lower limb
• Engage a diabetes educator to
conduct foot examinations in the
• Have a range of foot care products
available for patients to view as well
as a list of products that should be
• Contact local doctors’ surgeries
informing them of the diabetic
foot health promotion activity and
suggest that their patients with
diabetes may benefit from a Home
Referral to a podiatrist is the safest
choice for Beverly. It is common for
an underlying ulcer to occur under
the dead moist tissue, concealing
possible infection and requiring surgical
intervention or aggressive antibiotic
therapy. The corn requires trimming
back to healthy tissue by a podiatrist.
Beverly needs further education about
diabetic foot complications and when
she is in doubt about the severity of an
infection, she should seek an immediate
second opinion from a podiatrist,
orthopaedic surgeon, specialist diabetes
foot clinic or attend a hospital for
observation and further investigations.
• Patient education about the
risk of developing diabetic foot
complications is vitally important
to reduce the risk of peripheral
ulceration and possible amputation
as well as avoid the emotional toll
amputation places on the patient.
• Pharmacists need to be aware of
the great risk of possible foot injury
posed by the presence of neuropathy,
peripheral vascular disease and foot
ulceration in patients with diabetes.
• Pharmacists can play an active role
in ensuring patients with diabetes
are aware of the importance of
regular foot examinations.
1. Diabetes Australia Victoria. Diabetes Facts [online]
2008. Lasted updated Apr 5, 2011. At: www.
2. AusDiab 2005: The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and
Lifestyle report [online]. Second version Dec 2006. At:
3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Diabetes:
Australian facts 2008 [online]. Diabetes series No. 8.
Cat. No. CVD 40. Canberra: AIHW. At: www.aihw.gov.
4. Australian Centre for Diabetes Strategies, Prince of
Wales Hospital, Sydney for the Diabetes Australia
Guideline Development Consortium NHMRC.
9 Mar 2005.
5. American Diabetes Association Consensus
Development Conference on Diabetic Foot Wound Care.
Diabetes Care. 1999; 22:1354–60.
6. Sorensen l, Wu T, Yue DK, et al. Diabetic Foot Disease.
An Interactive Guide [online]. At: http://sydney.edu.au/
7. Lavery LA, Armstrong DG, Wunderlich RP, et al. Risk
factors for foot infections in individuals with diabetes
2006. Diabetes Care. 29: 1288–93.
8. Bowen K. Managing foot infections in patients with
diabetes. Aust Prescr. 2007; 30:21–4.
9. Neder S, Nadash P. Individualized education can
improve foot care for patients with diabetes. Home
Healthcare Nurse. 2003; 21(12):837–40.
10. Diabetes Australia. Diabetes and Your Feet [online]
2011. At: www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/Living-with-
11. State Government of Victoria. Diabetes – foot care
[online] 2010. Last updated 21 Oct 2010.
1. The high incidence of infection
in a patient with diabetes is
often due to:
a) an abnormal inflammatory
b) nerve damage (peripheral
c) foot deformities such as claw or
d) lack of oxygen to the damaged
area due to poor circulation.
e) All of the above.
2. The risk of lower limb ulcers
and amputations is HIGHER in
people with diabetes who:
a) have just been diagnosed.
b) have good blood sugar control.
c) have poor circulation.
d) don’t smoke.
e) use alcohol in moderation.
3. Efforts to prevent infections
should be targeted at people
a) traumatic foot wounds.
b) peripheral vascular disease.
c) peripheral neuropathy.
d) poor glycaemic control.
e) All of the above.
A score of 3 out of 4 attracts 0.75 CPD credits.
4. Which of the following
strategies would be LEAST
appropriate for a patient with
a) Wash, dry and examine their feet
b) Avoid excessive heat and cold, as
well as trauma.
c) Seek medical attention promptly if
seeing signs of foot infection.
d) Self-medicate when a new
ulcer formation is detected with
symptoms such as broken skin,
changes in skin colour, bruising or
e) Exercise regularly.
is the 3rd biggest
cancer killer in
You CAN help by recommending screening
Links Archive September 2011 July 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page