Accidental falls are a leading cause of injury among elderly people. Specifically, hip fractures are the largest single injury resulting from falls in patients aged 65 to 74 years. Biomechanical analysis shows that maximum force on the hip when falling approaches three times body weight. This can be reduced by about a third using a protective device. The device must be able to absorb and dissipate impact energy and be comfortable enough to wear on a daily basis.
Evaluation of the performance of a hip protector is conducted by simulating a fall using an impact test system. By specifying crosshead weight, drop height, velocity and acceleration, test configurations can be designed to accurately reproduce forces produced during a fall. When asked by a manufacturer of these protective devices to provide a testing solution we recommended our CEAST 9350
Impact Test System.
The CEAST 9350, with High Energy option ,testing system allows for all of these configurations, and the Visual Impact software and DAS data acquisition system when used with an instrumented tup, simplifies measurements of maximum load, time to max load, time to failure, total time, impact energy and energy to max load. A custom flat plate clamping fixture and 76 mm diameter (3 inch) tup insert allowed the manufacturer to duplicate different floor configuration.
Results from such tests assist researchers and engineers in the design of protective devices, and help physicians properly prescribe these devices to prevent patient injury.