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Wait Time Linked to Worse Outcomes in Hip Fracture Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29, 2017 -- Increased wait time is associated with an increased risk of complications and 30-day mortality among adults undergoing hip fracture surgery, according to a study published in the Nov. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Daniel Pincus, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving adults undergoing hip fracture surgery at 72 hospitals. The authors examined the probability of various complications according to wait time.

The researchers found that overall mortality at 30 days was 7 percent among the 42,230 patients with hip fracture. When wait times were greater than 24 hours, the risk of complications increased, regardless of the complication considered. The 13,731 patients who received surgery after 24 hours had a significantly higher risk of 30-day mortality compared with the 13,731 propensity-score-matched patients who received surgery earlier (6.5 versus 5.8 percent; percentage absolute risk difference, 0.79), and they had an increased risk of the composite outcome of myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and pneumonia (12.2 versus 10.1 percent; percent absolute risk difference, 2.16).

"Among adults undergoing hip fracture surgery, increased wait time was associated with a greater risk of 30-day mortality and other complications," the authors write. "A wait time of 24 hours may represent a threshold defining higher risk."

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Posted: November 2017