December 27, 2013

High Blood Glucose Levels = Wound Complications

If you wonder why I urge people to have better A1cs, this article in Medical News Today should hopefully get you to pay attention. A study released in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows how important blood glucose level are. The study shows that among patients undergoing surgery for chronic wounds related to diabetes, the risk of wound-related complications is affected by how well the patient's blood glucose levels are controlled before surgery.

Researchers and ASPS Member Surgeons Drs. Matthew Endara and Christopher Attinger of the Center for Wound Healing at Georgetown University, Washington, DC report the following findings. “The risk of serious wound complications is more than three times higher for patients who have high blood glucose before and after surgery, and in those with poor long-term diabetes control. They emphasize the need for "tight control" of glucose levels before surgery for diabetic patients at high risk of wound complications.”

Fortunately, I cannot speak to wound complications and needing surgery on one. I can say that I have been fortunate in three of the surgeries I have had in September and October and have had no problems with the areas operated on. Even the areas that were opened in my body have healed with good results. As of yet, I have been fortunate to not have chronic or any wound complications. As a person with type 2 diabetes, I will continue to manage my diabetes to prevent this from happening.

When Allen read what I was using for this blog, he ask if I knew a fellow, which I did, but not as a close friend. Allen said he had seen his name as being admitted to the hospital and went to see him. He was not permitted, as he had requested no visitors. So he decided to wait to see the dismissal notice and then went to see him at home. His daughter would not let him in and said her father did not want visitors. She did tell Allen that her father had diabetes and had an amputation.

Allen asked me if I knew of this and I said I did not and an amputation told me a lot. I said that he apparently had kept it a secret from everyone and not managed his diabetes. Allen agreed and said he thought he was close to him, but apparently, not that close and he was not aware of the diabetes. I said this was a problem and he would probably have another amputation if he continued his secrecy and did not manage his diabetes.

We talked about what we could do. I said we should ask the local doctor if he knew him. Beyond that, the doctor will not be able to say anything more if he does know him. I said we could say if he is a patient of his, that he could promote our or his group as being beneficial for him. If he rejects the doctor's suggestion, there is nothing more that we can do.

Allen said he would check with the doctor and let me know. The next day Allen called and said the doctor knew of him, but he was not a patient of his. He checked with the other doctors and he was not a patient of any doctors here. Now Allen was upset and throwing out ideas to try. I finally told Allen to save his frustration and realize that he was not going to be able to help his friend. I did tell Allen just to call him and wish him well. Allen asked why he had not thought of that and said good-bye.

I did not hear from Allen for a few days. Finally, he called and said his friend would not talk to him and his daughter had been told to hang up the telephone. The next day he said that his friend had been readmitted to the hospital and the following day his obituary was in the paper. I had to tell Allen that it is terrible to die alone, but that he had done his best in reaching out to him and now he could do no more.

I called Ben and Barry and clued them in about what had transpired. Ben said he had also known the person. He, and Barry would see what they could do for Allen.

Yes, I was sidetracked, but the situation fit and helped me emphasize how important management of diabetes is to people's continued health.

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