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Delay in Hip Fracture Surgery: An Analysis of Patient-Specific and Hospital-Specific Risk Factors.

OBJECTIVES: To empirically define a "delay" for hip fracture surgery based on clinical outcomes, and to identify patient demographics and hospital factors contributing to surgical delay.

DESIGN: Retrospective database analysis.

SETTING: Hospital discharge data.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2,121,215 patients undergoing surgical repair of hip fracture in the National Inpatient Sample between 2000 and 2009.

INTERVENTION: Internal fixation or partial/total hip replacement.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Logistic regressions were performed to assess the effect of surgical timing on in-hospital complication and mortality rates, controlling for patient characteristics and hospital attributes. Subsequent regressions were performed to analyze which patient characteristics (age, gender, race, comorbidity burden, insurance status, and day of admission) and hospital factors (size, teaching status, and region) independently contributed to the likelihood of surgical delay.

RESULTS: Compared to same-day surgery, each additional day of delay was associated with a significantly higher overall complication rate. However, next-day surgery was not associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality. Surgery 2 calendar days (odds ratio: 1.13) and 3+ days (odds ratio: 1.33) after admission was associated with higher mortality rates. Based on these findings, "delay" was defined as surgery performed 2 or more days after admission. Significant factors related to surgical delay included comorbidity score, race, insurance status, hospital region, and day of admission.

CONCLUSIONS: Surgical delay in hip fracture care contributes to patient morbidity and mortality. A variety of patient and hospital characteristics seem to contribute to surgical delay and point to important health care disparities.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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