HipSaver Soft Hip Protector

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector - effective, comfortable and user friendly hip protector helps to prevent hip fractures in frail elderly people at risk of falling

HipSaver is a proven soft hip protector indicated for the protection of frail elderly people at risk of falling from fall related hip fractures. It is now accepted by clinicians, care professionals and researches that the soft hip protectors, such as HipSaver, provide greater force attenuation than hard shell hip protectors.

HipSaver features soft permanently sewn-in hip pads that protect trochanteric areas located at the top of the thigh bones from the dangerous effects of the impact forces generated by accidental falls.  

HipSaver airPads are soft, light and large. Each soft and pliable airPad weighs mere 80 g. The airPad mould themselves into the user’s body contours during wearing. And because the HipSaver airPads are large by comparison to pads used in other brands of hip protectors, the chances of pad misplacement during wearing of HipSavers are very minimal, thus offering reassurance and safety to HipSaver users.

HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors are available in several styles to cater for the needs of elderly people and to help the carers to provide appropriate standards of care, when caring for elderly people with different health needs.    

HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors are long term durable and comfortable to use day and night. HipSaver airPads remain fully protective even after many repeated falls and impacts as well as after repeated machine washes at high 95° temperatures and tumble dries. HipSavers are effective, affordable and cost-effective investments in long term protection of elderly people from hip fractures.

Hip Fracture Costs

Hip fracture is a very serious and life threatening type of fracture. Hip fracture reduces life expectancy and diminishes quality of life after the incident. Following hip fracture, many elderly people permanently lose their independence.      

Hip fracture is costly with currently estimated £1.1 billion of annual hospital costs in the UK and expected to rise with aging population. Prevention of costly and life threatening hip fractures should be the key priority for healthcare.    

A recently completed Health Economics Research Centre (HERC) study presen​ted on the 29th of March, 2015 at the World Congress on Osteoporosis and Musculoskeletal Diseases in Milan, revealed the high cost of first and subsequent hip fractures to the National Health Service in the UK.

Conducted by the researchers from the University of Oxford and the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit in Southampton, the HERC study analysed data from 33 152 hip fracture patients of the average age of 83 years, of which 75% were elderly women.

The study found that in the first year after hip fracture, the hospital costs increased significantly, when compared to the year prior to hip fracture. The key reasons for this being the hip fracture related complications, a subsequent (second) hip fracture and fractures of other bones.

The HERC study confirms the enormous hip fracture related costs to the UK healthcare with total annual hospital costs of new hip fractures now estimated to be circa £1.1 billion and expected to grow as the population ages. The lead author of the HERC study, Doctor Jose Leal of the Health Economics Research Centre at Oxford University, said: "The impact of hip fractures is very significant. The UK population is ageing and unless action is taken to prioritise fracture prevention, the cost of treating fractures in the senior population will continue to rise dramatically in the future. To reduce the costs of fractures we need to identify and invest in cost-effective approaches and incentives aimed at preventing avoidable fractures and improving the quality of life in these elderly populations.” Further on Dr Leal added: “To reduce costs of fractures we need to identify and invest in cost-effective approaches and incentives aimed at preventing avoidable fractures and improving the quality of life in the elderly populations.”

Hip Fracture costs to the Elderly People

In addition to costs of hip fractures to society, the highest cost is to the elderly people suffering fractures. Many die, most loose independence, all suffer. The study published recently in Osteoporosis International shows that hip fracture increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).  

Increased risk of coronary heart disease in patients with hip fracture: a nationwide cohort study.C-H Tsai, C-L Lin, H-C Hsu, W-S Chung. Osteoporosis International 2015 March 24.  The study indicates that hip fracture is independently associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, the highest risk of coronary heart disease following hip fracture appeared within the first year after hip fracture, indicating the need for multidisciplinary care for the patients.

INTRODUCTION: Bone and vasculature are modulated through numerous common pathways. However, data on the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) after hip fracture are scarce. Therefore, we investigated whether hip fracture increased the risk of CHD by conducting a large nationwide cohort study.

METHODS: Using universal insurance claims data from 2000 to 2010, we identified a study cohort of 6013 participants newly diagnosed with hip fracture and a control cohort of 23,802 participants. Both cohorts were followed up to the end of 2011 to evaluate the risk of CHD.

RESULTS: The overall incidence of CHD was 1.69-fold higher in the hip fracture cohort than it was in the control cohort (29.2 vs. 17.1 per 1000 person-years) with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.51 (95 % confidence interval [CI] = 1.39-1.65). Sex-, age-, and comorbidity-specific analyses showed a higher relative risk of CHD for both women and men, all age groups, those with and without comorbidities, and patients with hip fracture compared with the control cohort. The highest risk of CHD was within the first year after hip fracture (adjusted HR = 1.72, 95 % CI = 1.45-2.04), and the risk remained high in the following years. CONCLUSION: Hip fracture was independently associated with a subsequent risk of CHD.

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector for the Elderly People at Risk of Falling

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector protects Elderly People from Fall Related Hip Fractures.

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector is the leading brand of hip protectors in the UK and globally. HipSaver has been designed and launched in the USA in 1992 and soon gathered a reputation of well accepted and well adhered to hip protector. The acceptance and high adherence as well as positive biomechanical testing and positive care home trials all contributed to the success of the HipSaver in the USA. Other countries soon followed and HipSaver was adopted in Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Israel, Czech Republic and Germany.

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector arrived in the UK in 2002 and has been since used widely and successfully in the NHS and care homes nationwide, helping to prevent fall related hip fractures and hip injuries in the frail elderly people.  

HipSaver is available from NHS Supply Chain nationwide (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and from the NHS Services Scotland. You can also purchase directly from Win Health online or by phone (01835 864866). 

HipSaver background information

HipSaver has been independently tested at two prestigious Universities: A mechanical pelvis was used to record pad protective effect in a simulated fall condition of an elderly person. These tests, conducted at Harvard University and Tampere University of Technology in Finland, two of the leading researcher centres on hip protection, relate the protective effect of pads to the literature-established bone fragility of an elder person’s trochanter.

Results have shown that the HipSaver airPad technology (HipSaver protective hip pad) reduced the force of impact from 7200 Newtons to 1790 Newtons, equal to 75 % reduction in the force of impact, bringing the force of impact well below the average fracture threshold.  

Please note that the average fracture force is 3100 Newtons +/- 1200 Newtons.

In addition to independent impact tests at Harvard and Tampere University, in the United Kingdom, HipSaver hip protector was tested for reduction in the impact forces using a different test method by Professor Julian Minns, a well recognised British and international authority on hip protection. While testing HipSaver, Professor Minns also carried out a comparison between HipSaver and other currently available hip protectors. HipSaver achieved a consistent force reduction of between 40-42% on all multiple samples tested, leading to conclusion that HipSaver compares favourably with other hip protector products and provides sufficient protection against damaging effects of falls in the elderly. Such finding has been confirmed consistently in clinical studies and in practical use of the HipSaver in the UK, USA, Australia and other countries.

The impact tests performed by Professor Minns in accordance with Draft BS 8375-2013 for Hip Protectors used as Medical Devices - Performance requirements and test methods - Part 1: General requirements for manufacturers, processors and products. During tests, Professor Minns noted that the HipSaver pad is kept firmly in place in the garment and is larger than pads on other hip protectors, thus presenting lesser risk of ‘movement-related’ pad misplacement. Consequently, when worn, HipSaver pad will always potentially cover the greater trochanter area and the likelihood of an accidental fall with unprotected/exposed trochanter is negligible.    

HipSaver Hip Protector Undergarment Styles

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector has been designed to cater for the needs of the elderly people. It is made in several different garment styles to suit individual requirements.

Each of the standard styles with 2 protective airPads over the hips is made in 7 sizes for the best fit and comfort, whilst HipSaver TailBone styles with 3 airPads (i.e. 2 airPads over the hips and 1 protective pad over the coccyx) are made in 6 sizes. Depending on style, HipSaver Soft Hip Protectors are available in male and female version or are unisex.

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.

What does HipSaver offers and delivers

  • Tested and proven to reduce fall related impact forces to below fracture threshold
  • Features large protective pads permanently fixed into the garments for user safety
  • Large pads minimise the risk of movement-related pad misplacement during use  
  • Proven effective in clinical studies and daily use over many years
  • Aesthetically acceptable, user friendly, soft and comfortable for 24 hour wear
  • Designed with the needs of elderly people and their cares in mind
  • Offers choice of several garment styles to meet specific needs of the elderly people
  • Garments with pads washable at 95⁰ C high temperatures and tumble drier friendly
  • Hygienically washable without time consuming pad removal prior to washing
  • No danger of pads being lost during laundry process or fitted wrongly prior to use  
  • Suitable for use at care homes and hospitals and by elderly people at home
  • User friendly and carer friendly hip protector for ‘night & day’ use  

HipSaver Soft Hip Protector – the perfect choice for proven effective hip protection!

Points to note about HipSaver soft hip protector and the HipSaver airPads

  • 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 washed at 95 degrees C (hot wash) and tumble dried at high heat.
  • Under the body weight the pad slightly inflates - like an air cushion - due to the presence of air trapped in the pouch. The pad is temperature responsive and when worn, becomes soft and pliable, moulding itself into the body contours.
  • HipSaver airPads are light and weigh only 80 g, hence when sewn into the garment, they are light enough not to be noticed by the wearers or weigh the garments down.
  • HipSaver airPads are large, thus ensuring the pads are not misplaced and always likely to protect the trochanters, even if the garment moves with the motion of the user activities.  
  • HipSaver airPads as well as HipSaver soft hip protector garments have been designed to be compatible with incontinence and will therefore accommodate even the largest incontinence wear. HipSaver airPads and HipSaver garment  pants withstand the harshest laundries that comply with the infection control regulations.
  • HipSaver airPads are permanently sewn into the HipSaver garments for good positioning, when dressing and worn and for convenience during laundry - both in own home and in care home or hospital.   

"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 presents an effective way to minimise the devastating consequences of falling. However, it should not be looked upon as the only solution to prevention of fall related hip fractures and it is not guaranteed to prevent all hip fractures resulting from falls. HipSaver soft hip protector performs best as an integral part of an overall preventive package, which consists of the following elements:

  • Attainment and maintenance of life-long optimum bone health
  • Pro-activity and vigilance in fall prevention
  • Prevention or minimisation of consequences of the unpreventable and unforeseen falls

Below we list some of the studies and practical projects using HipSaver Soft Hip Protector:

  • Hip Pads: Effective fracture prevention. George Gross, Tsan-Hui Chen, Carolyn Flaherty. (2000). Advance for Physical Therapists. 11(22). 45-46.
  • Hip Protector Compliance: A 13-Months Study on Factors and Cost in a Long-Term Care Facility. Jeffrey B. Burl, James Centola, Alice Bonner, Colleen Burque. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA), 2003: 4 (5): 245-250.
  • Prevention of fall-induced hip fractures: Usability evaluation of hip pro​tectors- K.R. Dunn, C.L. Brace, T. Masud, R.A. Haslam, R.O. Morris. Contemporary Ergonomics 2005 (edited by P.D. Bust and P.T. MaCabe).Taylor and Francis, London. Ergonomics Society Conference, Hatfield,  6-8 April 2005, pp 464-468. ISBN 0415374480.
  • RHINO Hip Protector​ Project – a 12 Months Hip Protector Study. Christine Elliott, Dudley,West Midlands. July 2003 - June 2004.
  • South West Kent PCT Hip Pro​tector Trial - Sue Betts. 2005.
  • Hip Protector Pilot Project - in the Medway and Swale, Catherine Steinmann. 2007.
  • High Efficacy for Hip Protectors in the Prevention of Hip Fractures Among Elderly People With Dementia. Doron Garfinkel MD, Zorian Radomislsky MD, Samira Jamal RN, Joshua Ben-Israel MD. Journal of the American Medical Directors (JAMDA), 2008: 9 (5); 313-318.
  • The force attenuation provided by hip protectors depends on impact velocity, pelvic size and soft tissue stiffness. Laing AC, Robinovitch SN. J. Biomech Eng. 2008 Dec: 130(6): 061005.

Cost-effectiveness of hip protector use on a geriatric ward

Cost-effectiveness of hip protector use on a geriatric ward in Germany: a Markov model. Stollenwerk B, Bartmus T, Klug F, Stock S, Muller D. Osteoporosis International, 2015; 26(4):1367-1379.)

ABSTRACT: In this study, we determined the cost-effectiveness of hip protector use compared with no hip protector on a geriatric ward in Germany. From both the societal and the statutory health insurance (SHI) perspectives, the cost-effectiveness ratios for the provision of hip protectors were below <euro>12,000/quality-adjusted life year (QALY) even if unrelated costs in added life years were included.

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study is to determine the cost-effectiveness of the provision of hip protectors compared with no hip protectors on a geriatric ward in Germany.

METHODS: A lifetime decision-analytic Markov model was developed. Costs were measured from the societal and from the statutory health insurance (SHI) perspectives and comprised direct medical, non-medical and unrelated costs in additional life years gained. Health outcomes were measured in terms of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). To reflect several levels of uncertainty, first- and second-order Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) approaches were applied.

RESULTS: Hip protector use compared with no hip protector results in savings (costs, -5.1/QALYs, 0.003) for the societal perspective. For the SHI perspective, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was <euro>4416 <euro>/QALY (costs, +13.4). If unrelated costs in life years gained were included, the cost-effectiveness ratio increases to <euro>9794/QALY for the societal perspective and to <euro>11,426/QALY for the SHI perspective. In the MCS, for the societal perspective without unrelated costs, 47 % of simulations indicated hip protectors to be cost saving (i.e. lower costs and higher effects). CONCLUSION: Although the gain in QALYs due to the provision of providing hip protectors to patients on geriatric wards is small, all scenarios showed acceptable cost-effectiveness ratios or even savings.

Back to top