The development of a disposable stick-on hip protector for the prevention of hip fractures in hospitalized patients

More then 90% of hip fractures are caused by falls in older adults. Hip fractures have a major effect on independence and quality of life, and 25% of patients will die within one year of the fracture. Clinical trials of wearable hip protectors among high-risk older adults show that they reduce risk for hip fracture by up to 80% when worn correctly, but traditional hip protector garments have less than 50% user compliance.

Traditional garments present many challenges, not only to user compliance but also to cost, workload and availability within the hospital. A potential solution for the acute care environment is a low-cost disposable stick-on hip protector that attaches directly over the skin covering the greater trochanter. Potential advantages over traditional garment models include: a) increased force attenuation; b) no shifting; c) continuous protection including during toileting; d) decrease staff workload; e) no laundry requirements or disinfecting requirements; and f) no need for different sizes or male/female models.

Testing within the clinical environment will focus on whether previous barriers to compliance have been addressed by the disposable stick-on hip protector and if initial acceptance and continued adherence improves within hospitals.