Featuring D3O®
Impact Protection Technology

Issues with Traditional Hip Protectors

Over the years, manufacturers of hip protectors have been challenged with two competing factors—efficacy and wearer acceptance.  In general, the harder the protective pads, the more effective they are—but also less comfortable and more unsightly, so that often people refuse to wear them.  The softer the pads, the less effective in absorbing or dispersing the energy from an impact.

Designs thus evolved from a hard plastic shell to softer foams and textiles to hybrids containing both hard and soft materials, each with its own set of trade-offs between efficacy and comfort.  Inevitably however, study after study has called for pads that did not suffer from these compromises.

More recently, ongoing research has revealed other significant problems with current hip protectors:

Impact protection capability has been shown to decrease, in some cases quite markedly, after even a single impact.1  As a result, other manufacturers have now taken to recommend that their hip protectors be discarded after even a single fall onto one of the pads.  Given that not all falls are either observed or indeed even reported, this requirement has undermined the very confidence that wearers and caregivers were seeking from the use of hip protectors.

Damage to the protector pads can be caused by repeated laundering and drying cycles, leading to a need for frequent replacement.2  Awareness of this phenomenon has led other manufacturers to call for close inspection of pads after laundering – a somewhat challenging prospect for hip protector models that have sewn-in pads.  Inevitably, this long-observed problem has been a challenge to facilities facing increased budgetary constraints.

The above issues have collectively served to undermine enthusiasm for using or recommending hip protectors, the net result being an under-deployment of an intuitively obvious and simple approach to reducing the incidence of hip fractures, even as the attendant liability concerns and economic challenges are increasing.

Based on the revolutionary D3O Impact Protection technology, Fall-Safe Hip Protectors have been specifically developed and engineered to address these issues. The success achieved after a comprehensive research and development process now opens the door to a new standard of care in hip fracture prevention.



1.  Bulat T, Applegarth S, Wilkinson S, Fitzgerald SG, Ahmed S, Quigley P. Effects of multiple impacts on protective properties of external hip protectors. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3:567–571.

2.  VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry. Hip Protector Implementation Toolkit. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Sunshine Healthcare Network;2009.