What's that smell? What's smelling?
In the Emergency room, when you get a smell so offensive that doctors scramble to put on their facemasks, nurses wish they weren't on duty and other patients temporarily forget their health problems and scramble away from the emergency room( if they can ); to the trained nose, the smell can only be from one source; a diabetic foot.
A diabetic footoccurs in a poorly managed diabetic who has a small wound on his foot, which the patient is either unaware of due to the reduced nerve sensitivity which complicates diabetes or poor wound healing. This leads to the patient hitting the wounded area unknowingly while carrying out his daily activities.
The wound, usually small, greatly increases in size and depth and may lead to the foot becoming gangrenous thus the horrible smell. A gangrenous foot more than likely will have to be amputated.
COMBATING THE SCOURGE
Diabetic foot management1. Regular blood sugar monitoring especially in diabetics.
2. Diabetics should examine their feet regularly.
3. Diabetics should wear comfortable shoes and shouldn't walk barefoot.
(Dr Erhumu works in the emergency section of a busy African hospital.)