From the Journals

Delayed hospital admission after hip fracture raises mortality risk



A delay of more than 1 week in admitting elderly hip fracture patients is associated with a significant increase in 1-year mortality, a retrospective, observational study suggests.

Among 867 elderly patients who underwent hip fracture surgery at a university hospital in China and who were available for follow-up, the proportion hospitalized on the day of injury was 25.4%, and the proportion hospitalized on days 1, 2, and 7 after injury were 54.7%, 66.3%, and 12.6%, respectively, reported Wei He, MD, of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and colleagues in the World Journal of Emergency Medicine.

The mean time from admission to surgery was 5.2 days. Mortality rates at 1 year, 3 months, and 1 month after surgery were 10.5%, 5.4%, and 3.3%, respectively. Hospitalization at 7 or more days after injury was an independent risk factor for 1-year mortality (odds ratio, 1.76), the authors found.

Although the influence of surgical delay on mortality and morbidity among hip fracture patients has been widely studied, most data focus on surgery timing among hospitalized patients and fail to consider preadmission waiting time, they noted.

The current study aimed to assess outcomes based on “actual preadmission waiting time” through an analysis of data and surgical outcomes from a hospital electronic medical record system and from postoperative telephone interviews. Study subjects were patients aged over 65 years who underwent hip fracture surgery between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017. The mean age was 81.4 years, 74.7% of the patients were women, 67.1% had femoral neck fracture, and 56.1% had hip replacement surgery.

The findings, though limited by the retrospective nature of the study and the single-center design, suggest that, under the current conditions in China, admission delay may increase 1-year mortality, they wrote, concluding that “[i]n addition to early surgery highlighted in the guidelines, we also advocate early admission.”

The authors reported having no disclosures.

SOURCE: He W et al. World J Emerg Med. 2020;11(1):27-32.

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