This two day diabetic foot clinic attended by high risk foot disease expert Dr Matthew Malone from Liverpool Hospital (Sydney) was the first of its kind to National Referral Hospital (NRH), Honiara in the Solomon Islands.
It was part of a pilot program to assess strategies for improving the management of the diabetic foot ulcer and reducing amputation rates and hospital admissions which seem to plague NRH.
This diabetic foot clinic resulted in part from an earlier visit to NRH by Adelaide Colorectal surgeon & DAISI member Prof Peter Hewett, who was shocked to realise that most surgical beds and, indeed many medical beds, were occupied chronically by diabetic patients with limb threatening injuries. This prompted a visit by Adelaide vascular surgeon and foot disease specialist surgeon and DAISI member Prof Rob Fitridge who realised the shocking extent of diabetic related foot disease.
Professors Peter Hewett and Rob Fitridge then consulted with Dr Matthew Malone organising this diabetic foot clinic.
Head surgeon Dr Rooney Jagilly with Diabetic Foot Specialist Dr Matthew Malone.
Cleaning of a diabetic foot ulcer that resulted in toe amputation.
One of the major advancements during this clinic was simply raising awareness of the need for hyper vigilance for assessment of complications in the diabetic foot and removing the stigma amongst nurses associated with doing “dirty” wound dressings.
Seeing an international visit from overseas specialists emphasising the importance of regular basic nursing care and simple debridement measures by nursing staff was probably the most powerful outcome of this trip.
The next diabetic foot workshop will hopefully involve Dr Matthew Malone and will occur early in 2020 where a major focus will be hands on teaching and training of nurses in wound assessment and debridement.