Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, podiatrists have seen some of the sickest patients of their careers—but these patients are not suffering from COVID. Instead, concerned about exposure to the virus, these patients have avoided regular appointments for preventive care or injuries, and as a result, they have severe diabetic foot wounds, infections, and in some cases even gangrene. Podiatrists are performing more amputations and often treating patients at risk of sepsis, a life-threatening systemic infection.
Patients with diabetes are at high risk from COVID-19 and should take precautions such as wearing a mask, limiting opportunities for exposure, and maintaining social distance. But APMA member podiatrists strongly encourage all patients, and especially those with diabetes, to keep up with their medical appointments.
Medical facilities are following strict protocols to protect healthcare providers and patients, including requiring masks and social distance in waiting rooms and implementing disinfection procedures between patients. If you are concerned, ask your podiatrist’s office about how they will keep you safe and about the possibility of telehealth appointments.
Here are more steps to maintain control over your diabetes during the pandemic:
Regular care to maintain your foot health and overall health is essential, particularly in light of the pandemic. Don’t neglect your regular care out of fear of COVID-19. Keep your appointment, and keep your feet!