An integrated care pathway to save the critically ischaemic diabetic foot

Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Jun;60(6):667-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1368-5031.2006.00953.x.


This prospective study describes and evaluates the efficacy of an integrated care pathway for the management of the critically ischaemic diabetic foot patients by a multidisciplinary team. A weekly joint diabetes/vascular/podiatry ward round and outpatient clinic was established where patients were assessed within 7 days of referral by clinical examination, ankle-brachial-index-pressures, duplex angiogram and transcutaneous oxygen pressures. An angiogram +/- angioplasty or alternatively a magnetic resonance angiography prior to surgical revascularisation was performed in patients deemed not suitable for angioplasty based on the above vascular assessment. Between January 2002 and June 2003(18 months), 128 diabetic patients with lower limb ischaemia were seen. Thirty-four (26.6%) patients received medical treatment alone, and 18 (14.1%) were deemed 'palliative' due to their significant co-morbidities. The remaining 76 (59.4%) patients underwent either angioplasty (n = 56), surgical reconstruction (n = 18), primary major amputation (n = 2) or secondary amputation after surgical revascularisation (n = 1). Minor toe amputations were required in 35 patients. The mortality in the intervention group was 14% (11/76). This integrated multidisciplinary approach offers a consistent and equitable service to diabetic patients with critically ischaemic feet and appears to have a beneficial major/minor amputation ratio.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amputation
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration
  • Diabetic Foot / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Foot / mortality
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Female
  • Foot / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Ischemia / mortality
  • Ischemia / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control