Patients with diabetes, including those with foot complications, are at much higher risk for severe outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) present additional challenges given their additional risk for severe infections and amputations. Dr. Rodica Pop-Busui, faculty member at the NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies and her team sought out to develop a triage algorithm to effectively categorize all DFUs by risk for potential complications, complying with social distancing regulations, preserving personal protective equipment and to assess feasibility of virtual care.
Highlights of the study include:
- Triaging of at-risk patients with diabetes results in effective care for the DFU population.
- Patient volume fell drastically as a result of the pandemic but limb salvage rates remained steady.
- Low acuity care was managed with virtual medicine encounters to promote social distancing.