The United States Department of Health and Human Services has accused a research team led by a Harvard doctor of ethical violations of not informing elderly nursing home residents of “serious health risks” discovered during a hip fractures study. The main risk was that the one-sided padding used in the study was actually making falls to one side more frequent and causing more hip fractures.
Nursing home residents in the cities of Boston, St. Louis and Baltimore are now just being informed that they were put in potentially dangerous situations during the study, which included more than 2,000 total patients, many of whom had “significant cognitive impairments”. The researchers were studying the effectiveness of one-hip-padded undergarments as opposed to double-hip-padded undergarments.
Regulators found that the researchers learned of the risk of injury early on, but did nothing to inform the participants.
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