The treatment of diabetic foot infections: focus on ertapenem
Diabetic Foot Clinic, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, UK
Abstract: Clinically, 3 distinct stages of diabetic foot infection may be recognized: localized infection, spreading infection and severe infection. Each of these presentations may be complicated by osteomyelitis. Infection can be caused by Gram-positive aerobic, and Gramnegative aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, singly or in combination. The underlying principles are to diagnose infection, culture the bacteria responsible and treat aggressively with antibiotic therapy. Localized infections with limited cellulitis can generally be treated with oral antibiotics on an outpatient basis. Spreading infection should be treated with systemic antibiotics. Severe deep infections need urgent admission to hospital for wide-spectrum intravenous antibiotics. Clinical and microbiological response rates have been similar in trials of various antibiotics and no single agent or combination has emerged as most effective. Recently, clinical and microbiological outcomes for patients treated with ertapenem were equivalent to those for patients treated with piperacillin/tazobactam. It is also important to judge the need for debridement and surgery, to assess the arterial supply to the foot and consider revascularization either by angioplasty or bypass if the foot is ischemic. It is also important to achieve metabolic control. Thus infection in the diabetic foot needs full multidisciplinary treatment.
Keywords: diabetes, foot, infection, antibiotics, ertapenem
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