Guidelines for hip fractures get revamped to support seniors

Lisa Wurth

January 12, 2012

Guidelines for hip fractures get revamped to support seniorsAccording to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 352,000 Americans experience hip fracture injuries annually, while 90 percent of all of these injuries occur due to a fall. Nearly one in four of these senior patients die within a year of their fall due to injury-related complications.

Because so many people suffer from this problem, members of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland worked with multiple other groups to create new guidelines for taking better care of these patients.

From the collected data, researchers found out that patients who go to hospitals with hip fractures typically don’t have surgery until at least two days after admittance, though they noticed that people who had surgeries within 48 hours of going to the hospital had a much higher recovery rate.

The new guidelines may offer doctors and hospitals with more concrete options for helping sufferers including admitting patients with hip problems right away when they go to the emergency room. Patients should also be checked out by numerous specialists such as an orthogeriatrician as soon as they get a room. Better communication between doctors and family members needs to happen, and seniors should have surgery within 48 hours of admittance. Patients are encouraged to learn new techniques for avoiding dangerous falls and should begin exercising shortly after their surgeries to heal faster.

Seniors who have suffered a hip fracture and live alone may also benefit from installing a medical alert system in case another incident occurs down the line.

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