The Senior Fracture Program

Early rehabilitation is important.

According to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than half of the patients receiving inpatient care for fractures and almost 90 percent of hip fracture patients are seniors. Research shows that senior patients who are treated quickly after a fracture have better outcomes, and getting them into surgery faster (within 24 hours or less) results in a shorter length of stay, a faster recovery, fewer complications and an increased likelihood to return to pre-injury levels of activity.

CHH’s Senior Fracture Program, which was created in response to these findings, helps senior patients achieve the best possible outcomes and curb the negative effects of bone fractures. Key features of the Senior Fracture Program include:

  • Rapid assessment and evaluation in Cabell Huntington Hospital 's Emergency Department
  • Dedicated operating rooms equipped for optimal surgeries in less than 24 hours, using the newest techniques available
  • Early post-operative mobilization and initiation of rehabilitation
  • Co-management of patients by doctors and orthopedic surgeons to minimize complications and manage chronic medical issues
  • Specialized hip fracture nursing care plans to minimize pressure ulcers and infections
  • Close monitoring and treatment for delirium, a common complication after hip fracture surgery in seniors
  • An emphasis on effective pain management
  • Improved communication with patients and family and the interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals with expertise in the care of seniors
  • Screening for osteoporosis and follow-up to prevent another fracture

Senior Fracture Program Leadership

Rebecca Edwards, RN, BSN, CNRN,

Rebecca Edwards, RN, BSN, CNRN, Program Coordinator

The Senior Fracture Program Coordinator is Rebecca Edwards, RN, BSN, CNRN, who joined the Cabell Huntington Hospital staff in 1990. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Ohio State University School of Nursing and worked on the Neuroscience Unit for 21 years as both a staff nurse and Clinical Coordinator before joining the Senior Services team. She is highly focused on quality of care improvements based on the most current evidenced based practices, and she enjoys caring for the senior population.

Franklin Shuler, MD, PhD

Franklin Shuler, MD, PhD, Medical Director

The Medical Director of the Senior Fracture Program is Franklin Shuler, MD, PhD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with special expertise in trauma who is affiliated with the Marshall University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He earned his medical degree from West Virginia University and has almost 15 years of experience in orthopedic surgery.

Both of them are committed to the Senior Fracture Program at Cabell Huntington Hospital and ensuring that senior patients who fracture a hip receive timely, high-quality care from a team of orthopedists, specially trained nurses and other providers who specialize in treating fractures in older and/or frail patients.

For more information, please contact Becky Edwards at 304-399-1897 or Becky.Edwards@chhi.org.

Bone Health & Your Health

Normal Bone & Bone with Osteoporosis

Normal bone (left) and bone with osteoporosis

The most common bone disease is osteoporosis, which causes your bones to lose minerals, become fragile and break easily. Osteoporosis weakens your bones much like termites can weaken a house. Your body’s frame becomes fragile, and injuries become more traumatic. Weak bones can break easily. This can be fatal.

If you do not have a healthy diet and engage in the right kinds of physical activity, your bones begin to weaken. Many of us are making lifestyle choices that will weaken our bones, or we may already have weak bones and don’t know it. Each year 1.5 million older people in this country suffer fractures because their bones have become weak. For seniors, weak bones can be deadly.

If you are older and break a hip, you are about four times more likely to die within three months. If you survive, the injury often causes your health to spiral downward. One in five people with a hip fracture ends up in a nursing home within a year. Many others become isolated, depressed or frightened to engage in normal activities because they fear they will fall again.

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  • Last updated: 07/05/2013
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