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Study Finds Hip Fractures in Nursing Homes Can Be Deadly

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You may have a loved one currently residing in a nursing home. You want them to get the best care possible, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. According to a new study published on June 23, 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, out of 60, 111 patients, 36.2% died within 180 days after being hospitalized with a hip fracture. It also found that patients that were over 90 years old and not hospitalized after a hip fracture had a greater chance of dying.

Dangers of Hip Fractures

A hip fracture is a serious injury and needs to be taken care of by a medical professional as soon as possible. The risks of a hip fracture increases as a person gets older and health conditions can continue to decline even after the recovery period. Experts do not believe that an injured hip ever “returns to normal” after suffering such a fracture.

Hip fractures generally require a patient to have surgery. Symptoms of a hip fracture include not being able to put any weight on your leg, inability to walk without pain, and severe pain in the lower groin, and hip area. There are several things that might increase your risk of fracturing a hip, including:

• Family history of hip fractures, and having a too-thin or too-tall build.
• Inactivity
• Smoking
• Female
• Certain medications
• Deficiency in calcium and vitamin D
• Medical conditions that cause balance problems, dizziness

Nursing Home Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people that die in a nursing home each year is at 1,800. The agency states that many falls go unreported. An average nursing home with 100 beds reports between 100 and 200 falls every year.

The CDC outlines several ways to lower these statistics including:

• Staff education
• Patient assessment
• Keeping the nursing home environment safe (no wet floors, adding grab bars, etc.)
• Encouraging physical activity
• Making sure medications that may cause imbalance or dizziness are necessary to the patient

You can also help keep loved ones safe in nursing homes. You should visit the nursing home to check out what resources they have and to determine if it’s the right fit for your loved one before moving them in.