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Is consent for hip fracture surgery for older people adequate? The case for pre-printed consent forms
  1. Luthfur Rahman,
  2. Jonathan Clamp,
  3. James Hutchinson
  1. Department of Orthopaedics, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Derby UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Luthfur Rahman, 103 Blackthorn Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 2NS, UK; luthfur.rahman{at}


Ojectives Low energy hip fractures are one of the greatest causes of morbidity and mortality in orthopaedics. This study aims to evaluate written consent forms with respect to basic standards as set out in the Good Practice in Consent Initiative. In particular the stated risks and benefits of each procedure were assessed.

Methods 100 consecutive consent forms were reviewed prospectively. The stated procedure, side and complications were recorded. Appropriate signature and legibility was assessed. 13 consultant orthopaedic surgeons were surveyed to identify what risks and benefits they thought should be stated.

Results Of 100 consent forms, 31 were for patients who are unable to consent. All 100 consent forms were correctly filled in with patient details and signed. 98% were legible. All stated the side of the operation. The number of complications listed per form ranged from 4 to 11. Infection, bleeding and thromboembolic complications were stated in the majority of consent forms. In total, 30 different complications were recorded; some were only stated once.

Discussion and Conclusions This work suggests consent forms are completed well with respect to patient identifiers, legibility and procedure. The variability of complications stated is vast. We suggest standard pre-printed consent forms containing risks and benefits should be used as this may improve standards of informed consent. This has also been recently supported by the British Orthopaedic Association.

  • Consent forms
  • hip fracture
  • complications
  • surgery
  • quality
  • orthopaedics
  • informed consent
  • aged

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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