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.
© 2021. Crown.