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Notice to the Reader: The case author provided suggested answers to the questions related to this case in Appendix D to give students an example of how case answers should be constructed.


After completing this case study, the reader should be able to:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of diabetic foot infections and identify the risk factors and the most likely pathogens associated with these infections.

  • Recommend appropriate antimicrobial regimens for diabetic foot infections, including for patients with drug allergies or renal insufficiency.

  • Recommend appropriate home IV therapy and proper counseling to patients.

  • Outline monitoring parameters for achievement of the desired pharmacotherapeutic outcomes and prevention of adverse effects.

  • Counsel diabetic patients about adequate blood glucose control as part of an overall plan for good foot health.


Chief Complaint

As per the Spanish interpreter: “He had an ingrown toe nail that became infected several weeks ago, and now the whole foot is swollen.”


Jesus Chavez is a 67-year-old Hispanic man, Spanish-speaking only, who presents to the ED complaining of a sore and swollen foot. Three weeks ago he noticed that his right great toe became swollen and red due to an ingrown toenail. The patient tried to fix the nail with scissors and tweezers, but the swelling got worse, and thick, foul-smelling drainage became noticeable approximately 2 weeks ago. The patient was visiting family in Mexico at the time and now has just returned home to New Mexico. History is per translation by a hospital interpreter. His wife, who also speaks only Spanish, accompanies the patient. The primary care physician is Dr Martinez at First Choice Clinic in Albuquerque.


Type 2 DM × 18 years

Hospitalized 2 months ago for HHS

Left second toe amputation 1 year ago secondary to diabetic foot infection



Chronic renal insufficiency


Father is deceased (56-year-old) secondary to MI, type 2 DM, HTN.

Mother is deceased secondary to breast cancer (41-year-old).

One daughter, alive and well, 42-year-old


The patient lives with his wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He denies tobacco and illicit drug use; however, he admits to a long history of drinking four to five beers per day. He admits to nonadherence with his medications and glucometer.


Lantus SoloStar 40 units once daily

Humalog KwikPen 12 units with each meal


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