Hospitals in the UK and Ireland are being alerted to ways of reducing risk for patients undergoing hip replacement surgery after sustaining fractured hip joints.
60,000 total hip replacements and 60,000 repairs of hip fractures are carried out each year in the United Kingdom. A much smaller number are carried out in Ireland. The death rate following partial hip replacement for fracture treatment is 10 times higher than following a planned hip replacement mainly because patients undergoing surgery after a fracture are older, ill and in need of an emergency operation. The death rate is also significantly higher when surgery is delayed for more than 48 hours.
The most common cause of sudden intra-operative death during surgery is the occurrence of venous embolisation of fat and bone marrow contents. This occurs during the reaming of any long bone or any manoeuvre that raises the pressure within that bone.
26 patient deaths and 6 cases of severe harm were reported between October 2003 and October 2008 in patients in the UK having a partial or total hip replacement where bone cement was used.
Bone cement if used should be introduced from below upwards. Bone Cement implantation syndrome can occur after an internal prosthesis is implanted using bone cement. Cardiac arrest and death have been reported too. It was originally thought that problems related to toxic effects of the cement itself but now it appears that harm is caused by fat embolism when the prosthesis is inserted under pressure, and this can also occur when cement is not used.
Liam Moloney Solicitor, Naas commented today, “Hip surgery is a very common procedure. When performed following hip fracture it enhances the lives of many elderly patients. It is generally considered safe but there are examples where patients have experienced severe harm or death immediately following these operations.”
If any of these issues affect you please feel free to contact Liam Moloney Solicitor, Naas at 045 898000 or simply log onto our website www.moloneysolicitors.com for further information.