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Nurse researchers develop diabetic foot model to aid treatment of ulcers

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Nurse researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have developed a ‘foot model’ to help nursing students learn about diabetic foot ulcers and their treatment.

The foot wound care teaching model, known as ‘Betty’, has been designed to illustrate many of the foot related problems associated with diabetes, including ulceration, gangrene, callus formation and crowded toes.

Developed by the tissue viability team at the university’s school of nursing and midwifery, the model comes complete with a removable pressure ulcer, a neuropathic ulcer and gangrenous toes.

Julie Vuolo, senior lecturer at the university who led the development of ‘Betty’, said: ‘It is very common for diabetics to develop foot ulcers due to compromised blood supply and there is a big risk of amputations among this group.

‘‘Betty’ allows us to teach students about what happens when people develop diabetes and to show them how to treat the wounds early enough to help avoid amputation,’ she added.

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