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There are 150 amputations nationwide every day due to diabetes complications. That equals 54,750 per year. For this reason, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Penn State University in Hershey, Pa. has developed some helpful material on foot care. The following has been abstracted from its literature:
Nerve damage, or "neuropathy," is the main cause of foot problems in people with diabetes. Fifty percent of people with diabetes develop nerve damage after approximately 20 years. Burning, pain, decreased sensation, or numbness in the legs and feet may all be symptoms of neuropathy.
This numbness allows injuries and burns to go unnoticed until they're seen, or to be regarded as minor because they don't hurt.
Hershey Medical Center recommends that people with diabetes take extra care in selecting footwear:
This research was presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting and Educational Program of the AADE in Boston, August 1995. The original report was written by Susan Jones, BSN, RN, CDE, and Carol Koman, MEd, RN, CDE, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pa.
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