Hip protectors can reduce fractures by 40%

January 09, 2003

The use of hip protectors in nursing homes can reduce hip fractures by about 40%, yet acceptance of hip protectors is poor, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

Researchers in Germany identified 42 nursing homes in Hamburg. Homes were allocated either to usual care (control group) or an intervention programme consisting of structured education of staff, who then taught residents, and provision of free hip protectors (intervention group).

Over a period of 14 months, there were 21 hip fractures in 21 (4.6%) residents in the intervention group and 42 hip fractures in 39 (8.1%) residents in the control group.

These findings suggest that a structured education programme and provision of free hip protectors can increase use and protect residents from hip fracture, say the authors. They suggest provision of hip protectors on prescription for elderly people at high risk of hip fracture.
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BMJ

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