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Question
Posted by: Des | 2010/11/04

Pressure Sore

My dad is a 92 year old diabetic. A sore developed under the heel of his right foot. Betadene did not help and there was a strange smell emanating from the sore. He then went to the GP who put him on a course of penicillin antibiotics (Apen 500) and a topical cream (Bactroban) and at the same time referred him to a surgeon. The surgeon says that he has a pressure sore. He has now arranged for him to undergo a Doppler test (on Saturday) to see if there is blood flow to the foot. He says that if there is blood flow, he would have to have him admitted to hospital and get the wound cleaned. If there is no blood flow he would still have to be admitted to hospital to operate to get the blood flowing again. I assume that since there is no blood flow any antibiotics is not going to help his sore.

My concern is his age. At his age how risky is this operation to get the blood flowing again? I also have read on the internet of a treatment called Jet Therapy. They make the following claim “ Jet Therapy is a product introduced into the South African market some five years ago and involves the application of purified air under pressure to the skin. It is said to be effective in hastening healing of diabetic ulcers, and alleviating symptoms with diabetic feet and in patients with rest pain.” 

Should I try out the Jet Therapy treatment or shall he undergo the vein op? What other options does he have? If doesn’ t go to hospital what would happen to his foot?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Des
I think he should at least go for the Doppler test to determine if he has blood flow to the foot. If he hasn't, nothing will really help and he may develop gangrene in the foot. If the surgeon thinks that surgery is necessary, discuss with him exactly what will be needed and how dangerous it will be for your dad. One then needs to take an informed decision on what the highest risk is - the lack of blood to the foot or the operation.
dr Bets

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Our users say:
Posted by: Cyberdoc | 2010/11/04

Hallo Des
I think he should at least go for the Doppler test to determine if he has blood flow to the foot. If he hasn't, nothing will really help and he may develop gangrene in the foot. If the surgeon thinks that surgery is necessary, discuss with him exactly what will be needed and how dangerous it will be for your dad. One then needs to take an informed decision on what the highest risk is - the lack of blood to the foot or the operation.
dr Bets

Reply to Cyberdoc

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