Department of Orthopedics, Musgrave Park Hospital, Stockman’s Lane Belfast, Northern Ireland
Department of Trauma and Orthopedics, Altnagelvin Hospital, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
At Altnagelvin, a district general hospital in Northern Ireland, we have observed that a significant number of hip fracture admissions are later readmitted for treatment of other medical conditions. These readmissions place increasing stress on the already significant burden that orthopedic trauma poses on national health services.
The aim of this study was to review a series of consecutive patients managed at our unit at least 1 year prior to the onset of the study. Also, we aimed to identify predictors for raised admission rates following treatment for hip fracture.
Patients and Methods
We reviewed a prospective fracture database and online patient note system for patient details, past medical history, discharge destination and routine blood tests for any factors that may influence readmission rates up to 1 year. Data were analyzed using SPSS software.
Over 2 years, 451 patients were reviewed and 23 were managed conservatively. There was a 1-year readmission rate of 21%. Most readmission diagnoses were medical including bronchopneumonia, falls, urosepsis, cardiac exacerbations and stroke. Prolonged length of stay and discharge to a residential, fold or nursing home were found to increase readmission rate. Readmission diagnoses closely reflected the perioperative diagnoses that prolonged length of stay. Increased odds radio and risk of readmission were also found with female gender, surgery with a cephalomedullary nail, hip hemiarthroplasty or total hip replacement, time to surgery < 36 hours, alcohol consumption, smoking status, Hb drop > 2 g/dL and also if a blood transfusion was received.
Our results indicate that hip fracture treatment begins at acute fracture clerk in, with consideration of comorbid status and ultimate discharge planning remaining significant predictors for morbidity and subsequent readmission.