Fractured neck of femur (FNOF) is an increasing problem for the National Health Service (NHS) with 61,508 recorded on the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) in 2012–2013 and treatment of such patients is estimated to cost the NHS £1.5 billion per year. Inpatients falling in hospital and sustain a FNOF have rarely been studied as a separate group of patients to assess standards of patient care, time to operative management, and patient mortality. Of 694 patients sustaining an acute FNOF at a single trust between January 2012 and June 2013, 40 patients (5.8%) sustained an inpatient FNOF. 19 patients (47.5%) were male and 15 patients (37.5%) had an ASA grade of 4 or 5, compared to 153 patients (23.4%) and 127 patients (19.4%) respectively of “community” FNOF. 39 of 40 patients received operative management. Patients with an “inpatient” FNOF were less likely to be admitted to an orthopaedic ward within 4 h (30%) and receive operative management within 48 h (65%) according to “Blue Book” standards. Results according to best practice tariff (BPT) were also significantly reduced for the “inpatient” FNOF group, with 23 patients (57.5%) receiving operative management within 36 h and only 19 patients (47.5%) achieving BPT compared to 76.5% and 72.5% respectively for “community” FNOF patients. Mortality among inpatients reached 40% at 120 days and 50% at 1 year, significantly higher than community FNOF patients after multivariate analysis. Patients sustaining an “inpatient” FNOF are more likely to have significant medical co-morbidity and require aggressive medical and surgical management, especially due to their increased risk of mortality post-operatively. Such injuries have direct and indirect financial implications to a health care trust, which can be minimised by prompt management of these patients. This study highlights the need for a standardised protocol of management of this important subgroup of patients and for further work on falls prevention strategies within the National Health Service.
- Fracture neck of femur, inpatient falls, patient safety