Hip fracture patients in the UK may not be properly treated for osteoporosis

In recent months, many families in the UK have come forward about the improper care that their loved ones received after experiencing an osteoporosis-related fracture. The Daily Mail reports that every year, there are 76,000 hip fracture cases in Britain.

Most of these breaks occur in women, who may be at a greater risk for developing osteoporosis. Recent statistics show that about 30 percent of those who experience fractures will die within one year as a direct result of the break.

In 2007, doctors placed guidelines on hip fracture patients that instructed healthcare workers to have these individuals on an orthopedic ward within four hours of arriving at the hospital, have them in surgery within 48 hours and provide the patient with care to prevent pressure sores. In addition, these people ought to be screened for osteoporosis, the news source reports.

The speed at which patients receive treatment is important because the sooner they have surgery, the quicker they can recover.

However, the National Hip Fracture Database - provided by the British Orthopaedic Association and the ­British Geriatrics Society - reports that only 30 percent of hospitals in ­England met the new government-recommended, 36-hour waiting time last year.

In one case, Agnes Eaton, an 84-year-old from the UK, began her hip fracture ordeal as a women living independently. Yet, after the break, she was left in the hospital for 16 hours before being given a bed. Eaton was not operated on for eight days, the media outlet reports. She eventually died seven weeks later, as a result of complications from infection.

According to the National Women's Health Information Center, 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and 18 million more have low bone mass, placing them at risk for the disease.