Vascular screening: Introduction (8/16)

Diabetes is a condition that can affect the vascular system. The screening of somebody’s feet for signs of vascular insufficiency is a simple process and is carried out by palpating the two main pulses in the foot the dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial. If you can palpate either of these pulses on each foot then it is deemed the foot is sufficiently perfused vascularly and no further action needs to be taken apart from recording this. Some patient’s pulses are not easy to palpate even although their circulation is intact and this may be due to many factors i.e. the presence of swelling (oedema) or the fact that in up to 10% of the population the dorsalis pedis is not palpable. If the pulses are not palpable then the patient will need to have a more in depth vascular assessment to determine if there is a problem with their circulation. This assessment would generally be carried out by a specialist podiatrist who would take any appropriate action required.