HEALTH ISSUE: Diabetes patients account for more than 22,000 bed days a year at Ipswich Hospital.
HEALTH ISSUE: Diabetes patients account for more than 22,000 bed days a year at Ipswich Hospital. Rob Williams

Ipswich patients with diabetes taking up 22,000 bed days a year

DIABETES patients take up almost 22,000 bed days a year at Ipswich Hospital.

This equates to filling all the single beds at the hospital for more than nine weeks.

Diabetes is the biggest cause of preventable hospitalisations in the state.

Diabetes Queensland chief Michelle Trute said there were about 9751 residents in Ipswich living with all types of diabetes.

"Of this, 2437 people are at a higher risk of developing preventable complications like blindness, limb amputations and chronic kidney problems due to missing out on vital education," she said.

Across Australia, about 70 people a week have a limb amputated because of diabetes-related complications.

That is one person every two-three hours.

Marking the end of National Amputee Awareness Week on Saturday, Ms Trute said it was a tragedy because many amputations could be prevented.

"If 70 Australians were losing their feet to landmines every single week it would be a national emergency," she said.

"Too often we push the serious and tragic consequences of poorly-managed diabetes to the back of our minds."

Ms Trute said the amputations could be avoided if people were better educated about how to live well with diabetes when first diagnosed.

"Some people aren't getting the care they need because they just aren't aware they need it," Ms Trute said.

"In fact, our research has found more than a quarter of Queenslanders with diabetes don't meet the minimum requirements of caring for their feet to avoid the risk of future amputation.

"This can be as simple as having a regular foot check with their GP."

Ms Trute is encouraging health services to collaborate to ensure diabetes patients are constantly educated about how to manage their condition to avoid tragic complications.

"If we are going to have an efficient, cost-effective public health system that benefits all Queenslanders, we need to give people with serious, lifelong conditions like diabetes, the tools and skills they need to stay healthy and out of hospital," she said.

Diabetes facts

  • 9751 Ipswich residents have diabetes.
  • 2437 are at a higher risk of developing complications.
  • Diabetes patients account for more than 22,000 bed days a year at Ipswich Hospital.
  • 70 Australians a week have a limb amputated.


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