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Hip Fractures Lead to Death or Immobility for People from Nursing Homes

Update Date: Jun 25, 2014 02:48 PM EDT

Suffering from hip fractures inside a nursing home can be highly debilitating, a new study reported. The researchers headed by Dr. Mark D. Neuman from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that nearly 50 percent of people from nursing homes who fracture their hip end up dying or losing their ability to walk independently within six months after the injury.

"We observed that nursing home residents had very bad outcomes in survival and functional status," Dr. Neuman stated according to FOX News. "Patients who had hip fractures had pretty big increases in disabilities across the spectrum."

For this study, Dr. Neuman and his team examined data collected from nursing homes and claims filed under Medicare, which involved over 60,000 people who were hospitalized due to a hip fracture from 2005 to 2009. The majority of the patients had the ability to walk on their own before their accident.

The researchers found that six months after being hospitalized, one in three patients died. In the remaining group of people who did not die, 28 percent ended up losing their mobility. These patients needed help in certain areas, such as walking, using the bathroom, personal hygiene and getting in and out of bed. Unsurprisingly, the team found that older patients had more severe outcomes than younger ones.

"When nursing home residents can no longer ambulate, this restricts their ability to participate in activities at the nursing home," commented Lauren Beaupre, who has studied hip fracture at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada but was not a part of this study. "They will likely spend much more time in bed, which can only increase their frailty."

The researchers hope that their findings could increase awareness for people who have family members that suffered from hip fractures. By learning more about the effects of a fracture, people can hopefully make better decisions regarding different treatment plans and options for their loved ones.

The study, "Survival and Functional Outcomes After Hip Fracture Among Nursing Home Residents," was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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