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To determine the age-standardized rate of lower limb amputations among Type 2 diabetics admitted to the Port of Spain General Hospital (POSGH), San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) and Sangre Grande County Hospital (SGCH) for the period 2000-2004. To determine in-hospital mortality following amputation, for the same period. To determine the risk factors that contributed to diabetic foot complications. All patients who had a lower limb amputation at the three major public health institutions in Trinidad during the study period were enrolled. In addition patients attending the surgical out-patient clinic and currently admitted to the ward with a diabetic septic foot was selected for the administration of a questionnaire to determine the major contributing factors. Data on the type of amputation, age, sex, ethnicity, from which an age-standardized mortality rate, was determined for the age group 30-60. Of 822 patient files examined, 515 (80%) of these major amputations were performed on Type 2 diabetics, of which 352 (68%) were AKA and 163 (32%) were BKA. The AKA:BKA ratio for the period 2000-2004 was 2.2:1. There was a significant difference between the mean ages at which females had a major amputation to males (p=0.001). The overall ratio of Africans to South East Asians was 1.5:1 amongst the Type 2 diabetic amputees. For major amputations the average length of stay was found to be 22.5 (0-192) days. The age-standardized rate for the age group 30-60 was 13.85 per 100,000 for 2004. Of 66 deaths, 31 (47%) were septicemia cases and 14 (21%) cardio-respiratory failure cases. Finally, of 97 persons interviewed, the major causative agent for diabetic foot complications and amputations was foot trauma (51%). Type 2 diabetic amputation status of Trinidad would seem to have improved as shown by this study. However, steps must be taken to improve patient awareness about prevention and care of the diabetic foot. Doctors must also seek to increase their vigilance when screening diabetic patient in the primary care setting in order to prevent the late detection and treatment of the septic lower limb.


S Solomon, A M Affan, P Gopie, J Noel, R Rahman, R Richardson, S Ramkisson, K Mungrue, D Hasranah, V Naraynsingh. Taking the next step in 2005, the year of the diabetic foot. Primary care diabetes. 2008 Dec;2(4):175-80

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PMID: 18926787

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