A retrospective study was made to ascertain the mortality rate among 100 consecutive patients with diabetes mellitus who had undergone lower limb amputations for infection and/or gangrene in the combined medical-orthopedic service of a county hospital. The medical and orthopedic staffs functioned as equal members, and combined decision-making conferences were held regularly. The over-all mortality rate was 9 per cent, a substantial decrease from the 22 to 25 per cent previously reported in similar studies. The mortality rate among patients with below-knee procedures was 1 per cent versus the 7 to 9 per cent reported by others. Close medical-surgical liaison on a service specializing in the care of these often fragile patients with diffuse multisystem disease results in decreased mortality.

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