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Treating diabetic foot infection in the emergency department: fundamental considerations

Gonz√°lez Del Castillo J, Blanes Mompo JI

Coordinador del Grupo de Infecciones de la Sociedad Espa√Īola de Medicina de Urgencias y Emergencias (INFURG-SEMES), Spain. Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital Cl√≠nico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain. Miembro de la Secci√≥n de Pie Diab√©tico de la Sociedad Espa√Īola de Angiolog√≠a y Cirug√≠a Vascular (SEACV), Spain. Servicio de Angiolog√≠a y Cirug√≠a Vascular, Hospital de Manises, Valencia, Spain.

Diabetic foot infection is one of the most serious complications the patient with diabetes
mellitus can develop and it is a frequent reason for hospital admission. Such infections
are also the most frequent cause of amputation unrelated to trauma in the West, and
this condition can be life-threatening if not managed properly. To reduce the high rates
of morbidity and mortality related to diabetic foot infection, early detection and rapid
start of treatment are essential. A multidisciplinary approach to management is advised.
The emergency department physician plays a key role in providing an early diagnosis,
prescribing appropriate antibiotic therapy, and ordering that samples be sent to the
microbiology department for processing. This review is an update of fundamental
considerations the emergency physician must bear in mind in order to assure the best
outcome for these patients.

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