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 Hip Protectors Found to Reduce Risk of Fractures: Study

Individuals in long term care facilities wearing hip protectors are more likely to have a lower risk of hip fractures, according to a new study published in JAMDA.
Researchers studied fall incident reports during a 12-month period and found that the risk of hip fractures was reduced by three-fold for individuals at 14 long term care (LTC) centers. Hip protectors were worn in 2,108 of 3,52 cases—or 60 percent—where patients recorded falls. According to the study, the incidence of hip fracture was 0.33 per 100 falls with hip protectors, as compared with 0.92 per 100 falls without.
Hip protectors are designed to reduce the risk of hip fracture in the event of a fall. According to the study, the protectors consist of specialized garments with soft pads or hard domes secured adjacent to the greater trochanter of the femur. In the event of a fall, the protectors absorb and/or divert energy away from the proximal femur to less vulnerable tissues on landing.
In the study, the authors said that most clinical trials on the effectiveness of hip protectors in LTC have “failed to attain a similar level of adherence.” They concluded that future research is needed to determine the benefits of implementing and dispensing strategies for increasing the use of hip protectors in LTC.
The study was conducted by researchers at the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada; Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and the Kolling Institute of Medial Research, University of Sydney, St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia.
Read the full study here.
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