Lower extremity burns related to sensory loss in diabetes mellitus

J Fam Pract. 1987 Feb;24(2):149-51.


A chart review of 37 hospitalized patients with diabetes mellitus who received burn therapy showed that ten (27 percent) had preventable lower-extremity burns related to sensory loss. Most of these ten burns occurred from heat applied for self-care of diabetes, namely, from hot tap water, a hot moist compress, or a heating pad. These ten patients, compared with the other 27 diabetic burn patients, were more likely to be men younger than 45 years old, to have insulin-dependent diabetes, and to have been burned during self-treatment. These findings underscore the importance of injury-prevention educational efforts by physicians in cautioning their diabetic patients, especially those with lower-extremity sensory losses, about potential burns from heat applied to the lower extremities for self-care.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burns / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / complications*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Self Care / adverse effects
  • Sensation*
  • Sensory Thresholds