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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/6/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Swiss man sought medical attention too late for decaying extremities

A man in Switzerland photographed what the ravages of diabetes did to his feet over a period of more than a week. The evidence is a nauseating reminder of what the chronic health condition can do if left untreated.

Classic signs of an infection include the skin turning bright pink or red, turning puffy and red, feeling hot to the touch and weeping a yellow or green pus, which consists of dead cells and micro-organisms.

Classic signs of an infection include the skin turning bright pink or red, turning puffy and red, feeling hot to the touch and weeping a yellow or green pus, which consists of dead cells and micro-organisms.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/6/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Diabetes, feet, neuropathy, infection


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These photos were taken by a 50-year-old man who developed lesions on his feet after his new shoes rubbed. Doctors say the obese man was unaware that he was suffering from diabetes.

It only got worse: The small lesions grew into a full-blown infection. Within a matter of days, his foot was black, leaking pus and in desperate need of surgery.

The photographs document the speed at which the infection took hold. On day one, the skin is red bec

The photographs document the speed at which the infection took hold. On day one, the skin is red because of the infection. By day three, it has blistered.


As documented in the New England Journal of Medicine, the photos highlight the devastating impact diabetes can have on all parts of the body, especially the feet. According to the charity Diabetes UK, every 30 seconds, someone in the world with diabetes has a lower limb amputated. As a result, people with diabetes are far more likely to be admitted to hospital with a foot ulcer than with any other complication.


Since diabetes can lead to poor circulation and reduced feeling in the feet, patients lose sensation in their feet. When their feet are sore or being rubbed by something, a blister or minor burn develops without the patient realizing it. This increases the likelihood of a wound developing and becoming infected.

For whatever reason - isolation or embarrassment, the man only went to a hospital 10 days after the infection had begun. Doctors at the University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland found that the patient had diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves in the extremities such as the arms, hands, legs and feet.

By day six, has become an abscess and tissue is dying and by the tenth day, it is a gruesome-looking

By day six, has become an abscess and tissue is dying and by the tenth day, it is a gruesome-looking wound infection requiring surgery.


Being undiagnosed, the man had poorly controlled sugar levels. Peripheral neuropathy affects 70 percent of people with diabetes and is one of the many reasons why the condition must be taken very seriously. Foot infections can rapidly take hold in these people.

The man had photographed the lesion twice daily in the hopes that it would heal by itself. The photographs tell a most unfortunate tale. On the first day, the foot's skin is red because of the infection.


By day three, it has blistered. By the sixth day, the sore had become an abscess. Tissue is dying. By the tenth day, it is a gruesome-looking wound infection requiring surgery.

There is a happy ending. After surgery to remove the dead skin from the wound and a strong course of antibiotics for three weeks, the infection cleared up. The man also lost a considerable amount of weight to help keep his diabetes under control.

Classic signs of an infection include the skin turning bright pink or red, turning puffy and red, feeling hot to the touch and weeping a yellow or green pus, which consists of dead cells and micro-organisms.

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