Watch Out: Your rug (and your bed) can maim you

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Common sense would tell you that most hip fractures in seniors occur in the winter when people with less mobility and resilience are more likely to fall on slippery – wet or icy – surfaces.

But if your common sense tells you that, turns out that your common sense may be wrong, at least according to a study presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

The researchers looked at over 500 hip fractures in Connecticut between 2013 and 2016 and found that over half the fractures occurred in “warm” months (in Connecticut you might think that that’s only July and August but these guys claim it’s actually between May and November) and more surprisingly, I think, most hip fractures occurred indoors, not outdoors.

What are the main culprits that raise the risk of hip fracture?

Tripping on or over an obstacle was number one, and highest culprit on that list was a throw rug.

That’s no surprise but what did surprise me is that number 2 on that list was falling out of bed.

So to reduce your risk of a hip fracture, I guess the simplest advice is 1) get rid of your throw rugs and 2) sleep in the middle of the bed, which may of course lead to its own set of problems if you have a bed partner who also wants to minimize their risk of dropping off the sides of that bed.

On the other hand, some good things may come from that arrangement, too.

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