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Analgesia in hip fractures. Do fascia-iliac blocks make any difference?
  1. Jacqueline Callear,
  2. Ku Shah
  1. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
  1. Correspondence to
    Jacqueline Callear jacquelinecallear{at}


Despite recent national advances in the care for the hip fracture patient, significant morbidity and mortality persists. Some of this morbidity is attributable to the analgesia provided in the hospital setting. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland recommend the use of simple oral analgesia including opioids, with fascia-iliac blocks (FIB) used as an adjunct. Literature review reveals a paucity of evidence on this.

The aim of this project was to evaluate the proportion of patients receiving a fascia-iliac block prior to operative intervention. A secondary aim was to evaluate the efficacy of these blocks through analysis of pre and post-operative opioid usage, post-operative delirium, time to bowel opening, and naloxone use.

Patients who received a fascia-iliac block received significantly less post-operative and total analgesia (p=0.04, p=0.03), had lower rates of delirium (p=0.03) and those patients which were discharged directly home had a shorter inpatient stay (p=0.03). No patients who received a fascia-iliac block (FIB) needed naloxone to reverse opioid toxicity, whilst two without fascia-iliac block did. The results of the project eventually led to the introduction of a hip fracture care pathway which incorporates a single shot fascia-iliac block for all patients who are eligible. Within a two year study period, compliance with fascia-iliac blocks improved from 54% to 90%.

Our experience shows a great improvement in compliance with fascia-iliac blocks in the pre-operative period. This work has also underpinned the introduction of a new hip fracture care pathway ultimately to better patient care and outcomes.

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