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Open Access Descriptive analysis of diabetes-related amputations at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Fiji, 2010–2012

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Setting: The Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) in Fiji.

Objective: To determine the characteristics of patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) who underwent lower limb amputations at the CWMH from 2010 to 2012.

Design: This was a retrospective review of data contained in operating theatre registers and clinical records of DM patients who had undergone amputations during the study period.

Result: Of the 938 amputations performed at the CWMH during the study period, significantly more patients were male than female (54.1% vs. 45.9%) and more i-Taukei (indigenous Fijian) than Indo-Fijian (71% vs. 26.2%); 15.9% of patients had not previously been diagnosed as having DM when they presented with foot sepsis. The rate of smoking was highest in male i-Taukei patients. A large proportion of patients (76.8%) had poor glycaemic control.

Conclusion: This study suggests that male i-Taukeis are most at risk, and that uncontrolled DM is a significant factor associated with amputations. There is a need to strengthen DM screening and improve glycaemic control. Foot care education needs to be implemented at diagnosis and re-enforced with regular clinic visits and complication screening sessions.
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Keywords: Fiji; amputations; diabetes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ministry of Health Fiji/ Diabetes Fiji Inc, Suva, Fiji 2: C-POND, Deakin University and Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji 3: Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji 4: Fiji Health Sector Support Program Fiji, Suva, Fiji 5: Ministry of Health, Suva, Fiji 6: The Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia

Publication date: September 21, 2014

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