Half of the amputation cases in the country are because of diabetes;  in MG, there are 26 thousand cases

Half of the amputation cases in the country are because of diabetes; in MG, there are 26 thousand cases

Every hour, three people have their legs and feet amputated in Brazil, according to a survey carried out by the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery (SBACV). Limb amputation is one of the serious consequences of diabetes when treatment is not adequate. The survey reveals that more than half of the cases of amputations were in patients with diabetes.

After suffering an accident and having a complication that could have been caused by diabetes, which led to the amputation of one, hairdresser José dos Reis Nere, 59, is afraid of losing the other limb because of a wound that does not heal. , due to illness.

“For four months I have been dressing and taking care of my leg. But the wound does not heal. I try to pay attention to diet and diabetes treatment, but when I get to the clinic I have trouble finding insulin and tapes”, laments the hairdresser.

According to SBACV, 245,000 Brazilians underwent amputations from January 2012 to March 2022.

In absolute numbers, Minas Gerais is among the states with the highest number of this type of surgery in the public health system. From 2012 to March 2022, 26,328 amputations were recorded in the state.

According to SBACV, the surgeries were due to the difficulty in monitoring the health complications of patients, who, during the Covid-19 pandemic, abandoned treatment or stopped going to offices or hospitals for fear of contamination by the coronavirus. The study was prepared from data available in the Ministry of Health database.

(Personal File / Playback)

According to vascular surgeon Mateus Borges, director of publications at SBACV, people with diabetes who develop ulcers and progress to infectious conditions require long periods of hospitalization or readmissions, with consequent periods of loss or absence from work, early retirement, depression and loss of self esteem.

“Brazil has a legion of amputees that grows exponentially” warns the doctor Mateus Borges. Another fact that calls attention is the high mortality among amputees: 10% of patients who amputated the lower limb die in the perioperative period (between the indication for the procedure and its recovery), 30% in the first year after amputation, 50% in the third year. and 70% in the fifth year.

Amputations bring strong impacts to public coffers. Between January 2012 and March 2022, considering the inflation of the period, BRL 660 million were spent, with a cost of BRL 2,685.08 per procedure. In Minas Gerais alone, expenses reached almost R$ 78 million.

The experts’ tip to reduce the risk of complications among people with diabetes is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and control glycemic indices within the proper levels.

Patients with diabetes are the biggest victims of amputations. A small wound can cause an infection that progresses to a serious case of gangrene, increasing the patient’s risk of losing a leg or foot.

According to experts, diabetes hinders blood circulation because it causes the narrowing of the arteries, reducing the levels of oxygenation and nutrition of the tissues.

The person with diabetes can help avoid amputation by seeking treatment at the first symptoms such as difficult-to-heal wounds and loss of sensation. “It is these wounds that precede amputation in more than half of the cases”, warns the doctor Mateus Borges.

Some simple measures can help, such as wearing appropriate footwear, avoiding the use of seamed socks and flip-flops, not walking barefoot and not scalding feet and regularly examining your feet.

“Early diagnosis, follow-up by an interdisciplinary team, with the support of an angiologist and a vascular surgeon, are essential”, warns the specialist.

Blindness is another serious consequence caused by uncontrolled blood glucose. About 150,000 Brazilians develop diabetic retinopathy (DR), a disease that affects the small vessels of the retina, according to data from the Federal Council of Ophthalmology.

(Personal File / Playback)

(Personal File / Playback)

Joyce de Oliveira, 25, has diabetes and became blind. “Two and a half years ago my life changed, for the worse. I had many dreams. Today, I spend the day at home, almost alone, and with no expectation of getting work or socializing,” she laments.

Joyce was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 4. But, because of the family’s financial conditions, she is not able to do the treatment correctly and, to complicate matters, she reports that she does not receive the insulin and the tapes in the necessary amount.

“In addition to not being able to follow my diet correctly, I don’t have the necessary medications at the health center near my home, in Sabará, in the metropolitan region. I’m afraid of having other health problems.”


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