Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
EGEM-D-21-00335_R1.pdf (1.34 MB)

Impact of COVID-19 on hip fracture care in Ireland: findings from the Irish Hip Fracture Database

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-31, 16:59 authored by Louise BrentLouise Brent, Helena Ferris, Jan SorensenJan Sorensen, Gintare ValentelyteGintare Valentelyte, Fionnola Kelly, Conor Hurson, Emer Ahern
Purpose: To describe the impact of COVID-19 on hip fracture care during the first 6 months of the pandemic.
Methods: A secondary analysis of 4385 cases in the Irish Hip Fracture Database from 1st June 2019 to 31st August 2020 was conducted.
Results: Hip fracture admissions decreased by 15% during the study period (p < 0.001). Patient characteristics were largely unchanged as the majority of cases occurred in females over 80 years admitted from home. Adherence to many of the Irish Hip Fracture Standards (IHFS) changed following the COVID-19 pandemic. There was an increase in patients admitted to an orthopaedic ward from Emergency Department (ED) within 4 h from 27 to 36% (p < 0.001). However, the proportion of patients reviewed by a geriatrician reduced from 85% pre-COVID to 80% (p < 0.001). Fewer patients received a bone health assessment [90% from 95% (p < 0.001)] and specialist falls assessment [(82% from 88% (p < 0.001)]. No change was seen in time to surgery or incidence of pressure injuries. There was a significant decrease in length of stay from 18 to 14 days (p < 0.001). There was an increase in patients discharged home during the COVID-19 period and a decrease in patients discharged to rehabilitation, convalescence or nursing home care. There was no statistically significant change in mortality.
Conclusion: Healthcare services were widely restructured during the pandemic, which had implications for hip fracture patients. There was a notable change in compliance with the IHFS. Multidisciplinary teams involved in hip fracture care should be preserved throughout any subsequent waves of the pandemic.



This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:

Published Citation

Brent L, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on hip fracture care in Ireland: findings from the Irish Hip Fracture Database. Eur Geriatr Med. 2022:1–7.

Publication Date

22 January 2022

PubMed ID



  • National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA)
  • Health Outcomes Research Centre


Springer Nature


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)