CBC News’ The National has reported on how delays in hip surgery negatively affect health outcomes of elderly patients who wait longer than the Canadian recommendation of no more than 48 hours after arriving in hospital.

This issue is being addressed by a clinical trial, led by Hamilton researchers, called the Hip Fracture Accelerated Surgical Treatment and Care Track (HIP ATTACK). The randomized controlled trial, which sees some patients get the hip surgery quickly, is led by Dr. PJ Devereaux, Scientific Leader of the Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine, and Surgical Research Group at the Population Health Research Institute, which is a joint institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.

In The National segment, Dr. Devereaux noted he and the other researchers want to see what happens “if we treat [hip surgery for older adults] like a heart attack or stroke… because [current hip surgery] outcomes are terrible.”

The National program features patient Geri Clark; as part of the HIP ATTACK trial, she underwent surgery a few hours after arriving at hospital with a hip fracture.

The HIP ATTACK trial, which involves 3,000 patients in nine countries besides Canada, measures the primary outcomes: mortality; nonfatal myocardial infarction; nonfatal pulmonary embolism; nonfatal pneumonia; nonfatal sepsis; nonfatal stroke; and nonfatal life-threatening and major bleeding.

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