The Australia and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR) has released a report today showing 75 percent of patients in New Zealand receive a nerve block injection to help manage pain after a hip fracture, up from 52 percent when annual reporting began in 2015.

‘Being able to better manage the pain associated with the fracture and helping people to walk sooner after surgery will enable patients to recover more rapidly,’ said Professor Jacqueline Close, co-chair of ANZHFR.

Hospitals have also improved early rehabilitation activities, with 86 percent of patients now being offered treatment to get out of bed and start walking the day after surgery.  This is an increase from 54 percent in 2015.

Hip fracture is the most serious and costly fall-related injury suffered by older people. Nearly 4,000 people in New Zealand break their hip each year, with the direct cost to the health service of approximately $171 million annually. A hip fracture case requiring a 3-week admission to hospital will cost on average $47,000.

However, the report shows some hospitals are unable to operate on people within 48 hours of the injury occurring, which causes unnecessary pain and discomfort for hundreds of patients.

‘The data shows some hospitals must do more to ensure there is enough operating theatre time for surgeons to treat patients within adequate timeframes,’ said Professor Ian Harris, co-chair of ANZHFR.

In New Zealand approximately 80 percent of hip fracture patients receive surgery within the guideline 48 hours of presentation to hospital.

Eighteen hospitals submitted hip fracture cases in people over 50 years of age to the registry, accounting for 72 percent of hip fractures in New Zealand last year.

The number hospitals contributing data is increasing every year and it is hoped to have all 22 hospitals on board by the end of 2019.

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