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HipSaver Soft Hip Protector History and Overview

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector is a scientifically validated soft hip protector. It has has been designed by Ed Goodwin of HipSaver Inc in Boston, USA in early 1992 and has been marketed since 1994. Ed Goodwin, an accomplished consumer products engineer and inventor designed the HipSaver with users in mind - aiming to develop an effective hip protector that protects elderly from hip fractures as well as practical and easy to administer garment and importantly, without a compromise to the most important factor - comfort for the users. Ed Goodwin achieved his goal and today, HipSaver is the leading soft hip protector on a global scale. Having been perfected over the years, today's HipSaver is the perfect hip protection product that the elderly users love to wear and the caregivers appreciate for its effectiveness, durability, practicality and long term cost-effectiveness.      

HipSaver’s unique dual-mechanism energy absorbing and energy shunting airPad significantly reduces the forces of impact. During a fall, the airPad absorbs the energy released by the initial impact. This leads to redistribution of the air within the open cells of the viscoelastic urethane memory foam encased in the airtight and waterproof urethane pouch. At the time of impact, the pad temporarily inflates like a miniature air bag and diverts the force away from the vulnerable hipbone. Subsequently, the soft pad returns to the pre-fall status. The concept of HipSaver soft hip pads evolved from the research carried out during the NASA development of protective padded suits for astronauts and pilots.   

HipSaver airPad does not take up fluids, such as water, urine or blood. The viscoelastic foam is encapsulated in polyurethane film to form an airtight and watertight pouch. Radio frequency technique is used as the encapsulation process. The pad can be machine washed at 95 degrees C (hot wash) and tumble dried at high heat. This means that when used in hospitals and care homes that observe strict infection control procedures, HipSaver garments with the permanently sewn-in protective pads can be safely washed in a commercial laundry machines at hot wash programs and subsequently tumble dried for the best hygiene and convenience. 

Under the body weight, when the user is lying in bed, the pad slightly inflates - like an air cushion - due to the presence of air trapped in the pouch, making the hip pads feel very soft and comfortable even at night. The pad is temperature responsive and when worn, becomes soft and pliable, moulding itself into the body contours.

Please note that HipSaver airPads as well as HipSaver garments are designed to be compatible with incontinence and will therefore accommodate the largest incontinence wear. HipSaver airPads and HipSaver garments withstand the harshest laundries that comply with the infection control regulations.

HipSaver hip protector is an all-soft one piece brief with thin tapered viscoelastic foam pads encased in a waterproof and airtight polyurethane pouches. The waterproof pads are permanently sewn in the undergarments over the trochanteric areas and cannot be removed.

HipSaver airPads are permanently sewn* into the HipSaver garments for good positioning, when dressing and ​worn and for convenience during laundry.

"When used in institutions, it is recommended that the hip protector shields are sewn into the underwear to reduce staff effort and time."  Ian D. Cameron, Assoc. Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Sidney, Australia, British Medical Journal, 16 February 2002

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector is suitable for day and night wear. The pants are made from soft polycotton jersey fabrics with Lycra for comfort and fit. HipSaver soft hip protector is made in many styles that cater for the needs of the elderly people. HipSaver soft hip protector is available in seven sizes for comfort and fit and in male, female and unisex models as appropriate for the different styles of the HipSaver garments.

Why to choose HipSaver Soft Hip Protector?

  • HipSaver Hip Protector provides great protection

HipSaver hip protector provides great shock absorption. It has been independently tested at two prestigious Universities - Harvard University, Massachusetts, Tampere University in Finland and independent research carried out by Professor Julian Minns in the UK. The results consistently showed that the soft HipSaver airPad technology offers excellent reduction in applied force to effectively protect elderly people from fall related hip fractures.  

  • HipSaver Soft Hip Protector is internationally accepted

HipSaver soft hip protector is used in thousands of care institutions and by thousands of independently living users in the USA, Canada and in other parts of the world, such as Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Israel, Czech Republic, Germany and United Kingdom. HipSaver has been refined and improved in over 24 years of research and development. The FDA in the USA cleared HipSaver hip protector for marketing in 1994. Since October 2002 HipSaver is supplied by the NHS Supply Chain in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. HipSaver is a registered Class 1 Medical Device under the provisions of the Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC and, as such, carries appropriate CE Mark.    

  • HipSaver Hip Protector is effective

In a controlled study, the high-risk intervention group wearing HipSaver soft hip protector had a 0% fracture rate (199 falls over 26 months with no hip fractures) as compared to a 4.3% fracture rate (369 falls over 26 months with 16 sustained hip fractures) for the less at-risk control group. Point to note: In this study, the elderly subjects (mean age 79) assessed to be at the highest risk of falls were non-randomly assigned to wear padded underwear in an attempt to immediately reduce their risk of fall related hip fractures.

A 13 months compliance study using HipSaver soft hip protectors carried out in a long term care facility in the USA, the authors reported over 90% compliance to day wear and concluded that hip protector programmes are feasible and sustainable.

In the United Kingdom, HipSaver hip protector was found to be the hip protector of choice in a number of local hip fracture prevention initiatives such as the RHINO Hip Protector Study in Dudley, West Midlands and HipSaver Pilot Projects in different parts of Kent. HipSaver was also found to be superior to hard shell protectors in the Acceptance and Usability Study carried out by a group led by Prof. Dr Tahir Masud.  

  • HipSaver Soft Hip Protector is comfortable and fits well

HipSaver soft hip protector undergarments are available in several different styles, each in 7 sizes to ensure proper and accurate fit with maximum comfort to patients with differing health needs. HipSaver soft hip protector is made from soft and skin-friendly materials. It can be worn day and night. The pads are soft, thin and tapered and HipSaver hip protector can be worn under normal clothes without showing ugly bulges. Male versions with convenient front fly openings are available.

For people, who prefer to wear hip protectors incorporated in outer garments, there are HipSaver Activs casual trousers and HipSaver Interim pyjama available.   

  • HipSaver Hip Protector is safe

There are no reported or known cases of skin breakdown underneath the HipSaver airPads. The pads are made of 100% urethane foam that is encapsulated in skin friendly polyurethane pouch. There is no latex component. The fabrics used in making of the garments are light, soft and stretchy - containing a mix of cotton and polyester fibres with a touch of Lycra. HipSaver Easy Fit is made from 100% antibacterial polyester with special moisture wicking properties.

  • HipSaver Soft Hip Protector is convenient to use

HipSaver hip protector is washable in domestic and industrial washing machines and can be tumble-dried. HipSaver is designed to withstand laundering and drying at very high temperatures (95 degrees C) as dictated by institutional infection control procedures. 

  • HipSaver Hip Protector is affordable

For an independent older person wishing to enjoy an active healthy life with minimum risks related to falling, the HipSaver hip protector offers an affordable safety measure and gives confidence to enjoy life to its full potential.

  • HipSaver Soft Hip Protector provides peace of mind

HipSaver soft hip protector offers peace of mind and confidence to the independent older person, their families, friends and carers as it may protect from severe fall related hip injuries.

  • HipSaver is cost effective in nursing home setting

A published 'cost-benefit' analysis of external hip protectors in the nursing home setting states clearly that hip protectors represent not only a cost-saving intervention, but that hip protectors prolong lives and their use leads to 'life expectancy gains' in the elderly population destined to have a fracture. The authors recommend a preferential use of the soft-shell variety of hip protectors, because soft hip protectors are preferred for comfort and are likely to have improved adherence rates without compromise to biomechanical effectiveness. A Cost-Benefit Analysis of External Hip Protectors in the Nursing Home Setting. Lisa A Honkanen, Bruce R Schackman, Alvin I Mushlin, Mark S Lachs. Journal of American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), 2005; 53:190-197.

In the care or residential institutions, HipSaver soft hip protector can help to prevent consequences of the unpreventable falls, thus improving patient safety whilst encouraging beneficial mobility and giving the carers – as well as the patients - more peace of mind. HipSaver Soft Hip Protector helps to improve and prolong elderly people's lives!

Please note, that the HipSaver soft hip protector garments should not be discarded/replaced after a fall. HipSavers are reusable time after time again! Efficacy of the airPad shells is not impaired by falls. HipSavers should be replaced, when signs of ordinary undergarment wear and tear (i.e. same as on normal standard underwear pants) are observed or, if the pads were accidentally damaged/pierced by high impact with sharp instruments. Such damage will be immediately apparent, because the damaged pad will take in water and lose its shape during the next wash. 12 months Quality Guarantee covers material and/or workmanship faults, hence, if products were to be found faulty, such would be immediately replaced. Quality Guarantee does not cover normal wear and tear, misuse, disregard of laundry precaution on the use of bleach or purposeful damage. 

HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors - the original soft hip protectors - validated and tested and proven in clinical practice - you can trust HipSavers to protect the hips from fall-related hip fractures!   

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