Lower extremity amputations in Ireland: a registry-based study

Ir J Med Sci. 2022 Apr;191(2):839-844. doi: 10.1007/s11845-021-02536-z. Epub 2021 Mar 23.


Objective: To analyse the current provision of lower extremity amputations (LEA) in Irish public hospitals by patient characteristics and assess the potential savings for reducing numbers if a national multi-disciplinary foot protection clinic (MDFPC) was established nation-wide.

Design and data sources: Patient characteristics of LEA conducted during 2016-2019 were analysed based on discharge data from the national hospital inpatient enquiry system. Reported consequences from existing literature were used to extrapolate national consequences.

Results: Public hospitals registered 3104 hospital admissions with LEA during 2016-2019. 68% (n = 2099) of these were minor amputations. About 76% (n = 1592) of minor amputations and 52% (n = 525) of major amputations were performed on patients with a diagnosis of diabetes. If the implementation of a national MDFPC programmed could reduce the number of diabetic amputations by 20%, 80 minor and 26 major amputations could be avoided annually. This would avoid nearly 3000 hospital bed days and correspond to a potential annual saving of €3 M.

Conclusion: LEA has severe impact on patients' lives and hospital resources. Potential savings from effective prevention strategies may offer both health improvements and cost-savings.

Keywords: Ireland; Lower extremity amputations; Registry-based study.

MeSH terms

  • Amputation
  • Diabetic Foot* / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Foot* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Lower Extremity / surgery
  • Registries