As the EDFN launches its call for abstracts ahead of its National Conference on April 21, we take a look back on one of last year’s abstract submissions that was presented at the 2022 event.
‘Foot emergency action team (FEAT) – managing diabetes foot complications in the clinically vulnerable during COVID-19’
Jessica Bolton, Paul Taylor, Paul Dee and Joelle Baynham from Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust outlined how, during lockdown, the team was faced with the dilemma of how to provide care for its most complex diabetes foot clinic patients to prevent foot related hospital admissions and amputations.
As a result, the Foot Emergency Action Team (FEAT) was devised. It was staffed by specialist diabetes podiatrists from the diabetes foot team. The team visited patients in their homes with remote support from consultant diabetologists, vascular surgeons, and advanced podiatrists.
The abstract reported: “Robust treatment plans were put in place to manage these patients without attending the multidisciplinary diabetes foot clinic (MDFC).
“FEAT visits aimed to:
- Prevent hospital admissions due to foot complications
- Prevent avoidable amputations
- Prevent avoidable deaths from diabetes foot complications
- Enable complex patients to shield from Covid-19 as per government guidelines
“During this time we had a total case load of 34 patients. 85% (N=29) initially presented with severe ulceration (SINBAD score 3-6), reducing to 50% (N=17); an improvement of 35%. 27% (N=9) healed, and 29% of patients (N=10) had an improved SINBAD score.
“There were 6 deaths (18%), none foot related, and one was due to Covid-19. Two admissions occurred (6%), one was for a BKA due to osteomyelitis of the fibula. The other admission was due to sepsis that was picked up on the patients first FEAT visit.
“The changes made to our service due to COVID-19 and FEAT visits proved effective and some interventions have continued. Previously all diabetes foot ulcers were managed within MDFC. Clinics were often saturated with little flexibility. Ulcerations with a SINBAD score of 3 or more attend MDFC, and less complex ulceration managed by the community podiatry team.
“This has provided service flexibility. Remote advice and guidance from the advanced and consultant podiatrists has continued. Photos can be uploaded, and a discussion can be had either via email or phone to form a management plan without the patient attending the diabetes foot clinic. The FEAT visits were an effective way of providing a high level of holistic diabetes foot care in the patient’s home, helping to prevent hospital admissions and amputations, whilst also protecting them from the risk of covid-19 infection.”
Submit an abstract for the 2023 National Conference
The EDFN is calling for abstract submissions from anyone who has developed unique foot-related research, new processes, audits or innovations to their service. It is aimed at all clinicians interested in foot disease in people with diabetes.
All submissions will be considered and judged by the EDFN committee, with the top two being featured as presentations at the conference. Abstracts will also be featured on the EDFN website following the event.
The deadline for abstract submission is 5pm on Friday, March 24.
To register for the conference, click here.