Preventing foot complications in people with diabetes mellitus
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Preventing foot complications in people with diabetes mellitus

Dan Howarth Head of care, Diabetes UK, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your knowledge of the foot complications associated with diabetes mellitus

  • To understand the effects of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease on foot health

  • To raise your awareness of the importance of daily foot examinations and annual foot reviews for people with diabetes

‘Diabetic foot’ is a term used to describe a group of syndromes in which neuropathy and/or ischaemia lead to tissue breakdown and reduced resistance to infection in a patient with diabetes mellitus. Foot ulceration is a serious and potentially limb-threatening complication of diabetes that can lead to pain, tissue necrosis and amputation, and may significantly affect an individual’s well-being and mobility. Foot complications also have wider economic implications for healthcare services. Therefore, it is important to reduce the risk of foot complications through regular foot assessments and providing patient education and appropriate referral to specialist services. This article discusses foot complications in people with diabetes, outlining the causes, signs and symptoms, and associated risk factors. It also outlines the assessment and prevention measures that patients and healthcare practitioners can take to reduce the risk of foot complications.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11432

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Howarth D (2019) Preventing foot complications in people with diabetes mellitus. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11432

Published online: 28 June 2019

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