Diabetes and high-risk foot were the key topics presented at Podiatry WA Day at UWA - Diabetes WA
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Diabetes WA’s credentialed diabetes educator and RN Shona Vigus

Diabetes WA was one of the key presenters at Podiatry WA Day, Sunday 25 July at the University Club of Western Australia.  The event brought together Podiatrists from all over WA for a full day of professional development and networking. Diabetes is of critical interest to Podiatrists, members of the multidisciplinary diabetes team who assess risk and treat diabetes foot ulcers. They play an essential role in assessing the need for urgent referrals to hospital foot ulcer clinics.

Diabetes WA’s credentialed diabetes educator and RN Shona Vigus gave a refresher presentation on everything diabetes from how diabetes develops, the associated comorbidities and the latest in treatment and medication. Shona shared that health professionals who don’t update their diabetes knowledge would be missing out on important information that can help their patients.

“Diabetes management is constantly shifting, there are new medications, new discoveries, new technologies and ever-growing knowledge about complications and risk factors,” Shona said.

“There is also a lot of misinformation about diabetes in our community that we can absorb without realising, a professional development update can really put a health professional in the shoes of someone living with diabetes and help them understand the risks associated with such a chronic condition.”


Another key presenter was Dr Mendel Baba Head of Podiatry at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital High Risk Foot Unit, who covered Neurovascular Assessment (NVA) basics and encouraged regular NVAs with diabetes patients. NVA is essential for early recognition of neurovascular deterioration or issues. Delays in recognising neurovascular problems can lead to loss of limb or even death.

The two main problems that occur with diabetes high risk foot are diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease, both contribute to foot ulcers and wounds that can lead to foot amputations. A 2017 study revealed the total cost of high-risk foot (HRF) hospital admissions in WA was $150 million (in 2015) and from 2003 to 2015 HRF hospital admissions have increased by 60%. The increase in hospital costs alone highlights that diabetes high-risk foot problems is a big challenge in WA.

With diabetes on the rise in WA – 140 000 people living with diabetes and a staggering 23% increase in the last year, high risk foot is the hot topic of discussion with podiatrists. At least 70% of attendees at the June WAFCAM “Time is Tissue” event at Fiona Stanley hospital were podiatrists showing high levels of engagement within the podiatry professional community concerned with the ‘timely’ care of diabetes feet.

For any questions or concerns, contact our Diabetes WA Helpline on 1300 001 880 and speak to a credentialed diabetes educator

Dr Mendel Baba Head of Podiatry at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital High Risk Foot Unit

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