Hip Protectors Prevent Fractures
Hip protectors could prevent fractures and death among those with Osteoporosis of the hip.
In the United State, for example, there are more than 300,000 such fractures each year and of those 45,000 to 100,000 die within the year from complications that arise after their surgery or from immobility.
Research shows that hip protectors do prevent fractures.
"a study of German nursing home residents reported a more than 40 percent reduction" among those who wore the devices.
This study covered 49 nursing homes in the Hamburg area. In 25 of the nursing home, residents were given a single lecture and some training about the value of wearing hip protectors. And residents were offered free hip protectors. 118 of a total of 459 residents who attended the lectures and training decided to wear the hip protectors.
Residents in the other 24 homes did not get this lecture or training. Of these, only 40 of 483 residents decided to wear hip protectors when they were offered.
Records of hip fracture were kept for 14 months. There were 21 fractures among the 459 residents who got the lecture and training. There were 42 fractures among the 483 residents who did not get a lecture or training. And "The number of hospital admissions in the protector-wearing group was 121, compared to 211 in the unprotected group. Those who wore the protectors saw their risk of fracture drop by 43 percent."
What appear central is educating people about the value of hip protectors.
"And an ongoing analysis of randomized trials worldwide
by Dr. M.J. Parker of Peterborough District Hospital in Cambridgeshire, England, found a two-thirds reduction of fractures" for those wearing the devices.
In Finland there was a study done in 2000 that "reported an 84 percent decrease in hip fractures over a prolonged period" among those wearing hip protectors.
A Dutch study showed less impressive numbers. 561 older Amsterdam residents who were at high risk were selected for study. Of these, 276 wore the protectors and 285 did not. During the next 70 weeks, 18 of the people assigned to the hip-protector group suffered fractures. 20 of those assigned to the group not wearing theprotectos suffered fractures. Most see this as a negligible difference.
What is interesting is that the devices are seldom used in the United States. Some believe that this is because Medicare does not reimburse for them. But it could be that paying for these out of pocket might save individuals and families much pain and inconvenience.....and even prolong life.
Pam Holliday says: "The evidence is fairly strong that they can reduce the number of hip fractures, and they seem to be cost-effective . . . The hope that their use will increase has been bolstered by the appearance of more products", she adds. "While only two kinds of hip protector were available a few years ago, there now are six kinds on the market."
Sources: Gabriele Meyer, research fellow, University of Hamburg, Germany; Stefan Solvell, president, E-Pill, Wellesley, Mass.; Pam Holliday, Research Associate, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Center, Toronto; Jan. 11, 2003, British Medical Journal
Also, Ed Edelson HealthScoutNews Reporter.