Yorkshire Care Equipment lands exclusive UK distributorship for ‘airbag belt’ developed to prevent hip fractures

28 April 2021

Yorkshire Care Equipment, a family-run healthcare supplier based in Harrogate, has been awarded exclusive distributor rights for the Hip’Guard Hip Protection Belt in the UK market. This industry-first fall protection device uses innovative motion analysis, fall detection, and airbag technology to protect the wearer from hip fractures during a fall.

The aid is worn like a standard belt. With built-in motion sensors, the Hip’Guard belt analyses the wearer’s movements over 1,000 times per second. A fall can be automatically detected in 0.2 seconds. Then, in under 0.8 seconds, the concealed airbag inflates and surrounds the hip before the fallen person hits the floor.

The airbags have a specifically designed horseshoe shape. This spreads the force of the impact around the hip bone rather than on it, providing shock absorption and reducing the risk of a fracture.

1 in 3 people aged 65+ fall at least once a year. Hip fractures are one of the most serious injuries associated with falls in this age group, with NHS trusts treating over 80,000 fractures each year.

Ahead of the launch, George Hulbert, Sales Director at Yorkshire Care Equipment, said:

We are thrilled to be bringing Hip’Guard to market as the exclusive UK distributor. Statistics repeatedly show the significant risk that falls – and hip fractures especially – pose to the older people in our communities. 90% of hip fractures are caused by falls. After a hip fracture, 2 in 4 older people will never recover their independence and, sadly, 1 in 4 will die within a year.

Following months of lockdown and reduced activity levels, more older people are more vulnerable to falls. We saw the demand for a device to keep people safe and give them the confidence to stay active and independent. Traditional options, like padded hip protectors, are rarely used as they’re often considered bulky, uncomfortable, and ineffective. So, we started looking for a better solution.

Hip’Guard ticked all the boxes for us. It has been proven to reduce the force of impact from a fall by over 85% – which significantly reduces the risk of hip fractures. But it’s also comfortable and practical for our customers to use. The belt is discreet, lightweight, and completely automated.

The company launched the product on Thursday 22nd April at a virtual event attended by over 400 fall prevention specialists and other healthcare professionals. This made Hip’Guard the third fall assistance and protection device released by the Yorkshire firm in 14 months – following their Raizer II and Raizer M falls lifting chair launches in January 2020 and January 2021.

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