Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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The effect of indirect admission via hospital transfer on hip fracture patients in Ireland

journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-01, 09:26 authored by Andrew J. Hughes, Louise BrentLouise Brent, Regien Biesma, Paddy J Kenny, Conor J. Hurson
Background and aims: Current best practice states that hip fracture patients should undergo surgery within 48 hours to minimise perioperative complications. There are 10 emergency departments (EDs) in Ireland that receive hip fracture patients without a trauma and orthopaedic surgery unit on site. Idle periods and duplicated preoperative investigations can lead to a prolonged time to surgery. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of admission route on the time to surgery, length of stay and pressure ulcer development in patients who sustain a hip fracture in Ireland.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed, using 2013 and 2014 data from the Irish Hip Fracture Database. Age, gender and ASA grade were identified as confounders and adjusted for accordingly.

Results: Of the 3893 hip fractures identified, indirect admissions via hospital transfer occurred in 8.6% of cases. Surgery was performed within 48 h in 72.0% of indirect admission and 73.7% of direct admission cases (p = 0.502). The length of stay was significantly prolonged for patients admitted via hospital transfer (25.6 compared to 19.6 days, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Delayed discharges post hip fracture have been shown to expose patients to increased perioperative morbidity and mortality rates, as well as reduced rehabilitation potential and less chance of returning home on discharge. This has significant cost implications for the health service and justifies the introduction of hospital bypass protocols for patients with hip fractures.



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Published Citation

Hughes AJ, Brent L, Biesma R, Kenny PJ, Hurson CJ. The effect of indirect admission via hospital transfer on hip fracture patients in Ireland. Ir J Med Sci. 2019 ;188(2):517-524.

Publication Date

4 July 2018

PubMed ID



  • National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA)
  • Public Health and Epidemiology


Springer Nature


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)