Statement from D-Foot International on the global COVID-19 crisis
The current crisis of COVID-19 has changed our lives drastically, changing our work habits and daily activities. We are living through very difficult and hard times, which perhaps only resemble those experienced in the world wars of the early and mid-twentieth century. The pandemic is hitting all countries hard, regardless of their resources and health systems and is challenging the ability of healthcare professionals and our society to act.
Unfortunately, the impact of this crisis not only affects patients with Coronavirus but also patients with other diseases, many of them seriously and may also threaten their life expectancy. Our diabetic foot patients are also threatened. Most of them have lost the follow-up of treatment of their wounds, revascularization procedures have been delayed, change or follow-up of off-loading devices, regular inspection of the ulcer, prevention of infection and above all, urgent cases that require emergency attention are of great concern, such as patients with a severe life-threatening infection.
However, as a community dedicated to the prevention and management of diabetic foot, and especially committed to reducing amputations associated with diabetes, we must maintain our dedication to these patients and ensure at least a minimum of care that reduces the risk of complications.
We live in a digitized world and where in many parts of the globe it is sometimes easier to find a mobile terminal than a toothbrush. For this reason, I encourage you to use the possibilities offered by telemedicine to continue taking care of our patients, help them feel supported and answer any questions they have in this regard.
It is important that during this crisis we classify patients based on the severity of their lesions. In this way, we can offer telematic assistance, domiciliary visits or in cases where it is required to attend to emergencies, with an early discharge programme from the hospital, if circumstances allow it.
D-Foot International is collaborating with other associations in the world to reconcile the best response in this crisis. We are working with FIP-IFP, IWGDF Guidance and Diabetic Foot Australia to coordinate a common response globally. I encourage you as a community of experts in the diabetic foot to share your local experiences and help us spread the best options for our patients. It is important to remember that healthcare professionals are on the front line against the virus, and we run the risk of getting it, so I ask that you protect yourselves adequately and that you act responsibly and prudently in these times. Protecting yourself is also protecting your families and society in general.
Along with this message, I send you a big hug full of hope that your families and loved ones are well in these difficult times.
José Luis Lázaro Martínez, President D-Foot International