If you have the misfortune to break a hip, try not to delay getting it repaired.

A recent observational study conducted in Canada revealed that the risk of death rises as do complications in situations where hip repairs were delayed more than 48 hours. The study entitled “Timing of Operations and Outcomes for Patients With Hip Fracture—It’s Probably Not Worth the Wait” appeared November 28, 2017 on The JAMA Network.

Seventy-two hospitals in Ontario, Canada, cooperated in checking the records of 42,230 adults who had hip fracture surgery between April 2009 and March 2014. Researchers measured the time in hours from emergency department arrival until surgery or death within 30 days of hospital admittance for hip fracture surgery.

Patients who had surgery for hip fracture after 24 hours had an increased risk of death compared to patients who had surgery within 24 hours (6.5% vs 5.8%).

The risk of complications, such as heart attack, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and pneumonia, were also higher for patients who had surgery after 24 hours.

Patients who may have died of other ailments while awaiting surgery were not included in the study

The bottom line for the study was the fact that waiting more than 24 hours to undergo hip fracture surgery appears to be associated with an increased risk of death and/or of compilations.

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