Ask HRC: Hip Protectors to Limit Falls-Related Injuries

March 12, 2007 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Even the best fall prevention strategies cannot eliminate all risk of falling. Some studies suggest that individuals at high risk for hip fracture from a potential fall may benefit from wearing external hip protectors. A HRC member whose adult day facility is considering educating clients and their families about hip protectors was concerned about potential liability in this area in light of a manufacturer's statement that the devices have not been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Hip protectors are specially designed shields that may be worn in undergarments and are intended to absorb some of the force of a fall, thus reducing the risk of trauma to the greater trochanter. Although studies have not provided conclusive evidence that the devices reduce the risk of hip fracture, some studies suggest that...

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