Pre-operative resuscitation discussion with patients undergoing fractured neck of femur repair: a service evaluation and discussion of current standards



The majority of neck of femur (NOF) fracture patients are frail and at a higher risk of cardiac arrest. This makes discussion of treatment escalation vital to informed care. The optimal time for these discussions is prior to admission or trauma. However, when this has not occurred, it is vital that these discussions happen early in the patient’s admission when family is often present and before further deterioration in their condition. We undertook a service evaluation to evaluate and discuss the effect of clinician education on improving rates of timely discussion amongst orthopaedic doctors.

Materials and methods

The first cycle included 94 patients. Their notes were reviewed for presence of a ReSPECT (Recommend Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) form prior to operation and whether this it countersigned by a consultant. Following this, clinician education was undertaken and a re-audit was carried out involving 57 patients.


ReSPECT form completion rates rose from 23% in cycle 1–32% in cycle 2 following intervention. The proportion which consultants signed rose from 41% to 56% following intervention.


This project demonstrates how a basic education program can prove limited improvements in the rates of timely resuscitation discussions. We discuss a current lack in quality research into educational programs for discussion of treatment escalation for orthopaedic trainees. We suggest there is room to improve national best practice guidelines and training to ensure these discussions are carried out more frequently and to a better standard.

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Correspondence to J. Heylen.

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Heylen, J., Kemp, O., Macdonald, N.J. et al. Pre-operative resuscitation discussion with patients undergoing fractured neck of femur repair: a service evaluation and discussion of current standards. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg (2021).

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  • Treatment escalation
  • Preoperative
  • Orthopaedic