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01-12-2021 | Research | Uitgave 1/2021 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2021

Utilisation of the 2019 IWGDF diabetic foot infection guidelines to benchmark practice and improve the delivery of care in persons with diabetic foot infections

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2021
Matthew Malone, Adriaan Erasmus, Saskia Schwarzer, Namson S. Lau, Mehtab Ahmad, Hugh G. Dickson
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Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13047-021-00448-w.

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To utilise the 2019 International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF) - diabetic foot infection (DFI) guidelines as an audit tool for clinical practice in patients with diabetes attending a High-Risk Foot Service.


Data from 93 consecutive patients were collected over a 19-month period in patients attending a High-Risk Foot Service. The diagnosis and management of each patient in the sample were compared against the 2019 IWGDF DFI guidelines, grouped into four categories: Diagnosis, Microbiology, Treatment of soft tissue infection, and Surgical treatment and osteomyelitis. Deficits in performance were recorded using the recommendations as a benchmark standard.


There were 109 DFI events. Nineteen (63%) of the recommendations were met, 7 (24%) were partially met, and four (13%) recommendations were not met. Fourteen of the sample had no documented requests for full blood counts. Tissue was obtained for culture in 32 (29%) of the sample. No percutaneous bone biopsies were performed. Only 13 (28%) patients had intraoperative bone specimens sent for culture and sensitivities, with no bone specimens sent for histopathology. Modification of antibiotic therapy following available culture results was low, occurring in 12 out of 63 possible occasions (19%). The duration of antibiotic regimens in PEDIS 2 infections and osteomyelitis was greater than that recommended.


Utilising the IWGDF DFI guidelines to benchmark clinical practice is a useful tool to identify gaps in clinical performance or service delivery and may help to improve patient care.

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