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Int Orthop. 1993;17(1):27-9.

Hypoxaemia after osteosynthesis of hip fractures.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Hypoxaemia may cause postoperative confusion after operations for hip fractures in elderly patients. Twenty-two consecutive patients, with a median age of 73 years, had fractures fixed with a sliding hip screw within 48 hours of admission. The incidence of hypoxaemia was investigated postoperatively using a pulse oximeter. We have demonstrated that this complication occurs frequently on the first day and severe hypoxaemia can be prevented by supplementary oxygen therapy. Our results support the hypothesis that postoperative confusion can be caused by hypoxaemia.

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