Area rugs, personal walkers or scooters, poor lighting, medication and pets are the primary cause of falls in the home. According to the CDC, falls send more than 300,000 patients a year to the hospital with hip fractures, the majority occurring in patients 65 years or older.
With evidence-based care practices in place for treatment of hip fracture, The Joint Commission has awarded Medical City McKinney with the disease-specific hip fracture certification for the second time. Medical City McKinney achieved this initial certification in 2018.
“Achieving and maintaining this certification means that the entire care team across multiple departments follow best practice protocols for treating hip fractures, resulting in exceptional care and outcomes,” says Ernest C. Lynch, III, FACHE, CEO of Medical City McKinney. “This recertification is another reason why Medical City McKinney is the destination of choice for hip fracture surgery in the greater McKinney area.”
As a Level III Trauma Center, Medical City McKinney’s trauma team focuses on getting patients with a hip fracture surgical treatment within 24 hours of their fall. The hospital treats more than a dozen patients every month for hip fractures caused from a fall.
“Certification in hip fracture means our data is continually reviewed to ensure high rates of success in treating hip fractures,” says Mark Hubert, MD, orthopedic trauma surgeon. “Our goal is to get a patient mobile in order to begin crucial physical therapy with the goal of restoring mobility as soon as possible.”
With more than 1 in 4 older adults reporting a fall each year, it’s important to assess the environment for hazards. The CDC recommends several tactics to reduce the risk of a potentially traumatic fall:
- Review medications with a physician or pharmacist. Some medicines cause dizziness or sleepiness, which can increase the risk of falls.
- Stay active and do exercises to improve leg strength and balance.
- Remove trip hazards in the home such as throw rugs.
- Make sure the home is properly light.
- Install handrails on staircases and grab bars in bathrooms.
“Also, keep an eye on your small pets. Tripping over a small dog or cat is one of the most common causes of a fall, resulting in a hip fracture,” Dr. Hubert says.