Changing Horizons in Gerontology: Improving Bone Health in Older People

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Changing Horizons: Improving Bone Health in Older People
10 September 2020
This is an online symposium (15.00-16.30)
Organised by: 
IGS. Sponsor: AMGEN

Recording of this event:

2:25     Dr Helen O'Brien

22:00    Ms Sarah McShane

38:00    Dr Tomás Ahern

59:50    Dr Rachael Doyle

1:11:00  Panel discussion with Q & A


Changing Horizons in Gerontology: Improving Bone Health in Older People

In association with Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda & the RCSI Hospital Group, Vincent’s & St Colmcilles & UCD

10 September 2020  15.00-16.30   #IGSbonehealth

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Sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from:


Approved by RCPI with 2 CPD credits (Ref 1019)

Hip fractures from low-impact falls are the most common life-threatening injury sustained by older people, with 3,751 hip fractures recorded by the Irish Hip Fracture Database in 2018. They are also the leading reason for emergency surgery and anaesthesia in the older person. Fragility fractures are associated with significantly increased mortality and morbidity. Despite improvements in 1-year mortality post hip fracture from 30% to 22%, risk of functional loss remains high.

Proactive collaborative care of these frail, older, multi-morbid patients with early comprehensive geriatric assessment, delirium recognition, rehabilitation, individualised bone health assessment and management, and reduction in future falls risk are essential for success.

This webinar will explore how to develop an Orthogeriatric service, the importance of Physiotherapy in acute & rehabilitation settings, trauma and the perils of lockdown among older people and approaches to optimising bone health.


Welcome   Dr Diarmuid O'Shea, President of the Irish Gerontological Society

Introduction of the theme and speakers     Dr Helen O’ Brien

Trauma and the Fallout from COVID-19   Dr Rachael Doyle, Consultant Geriatrician, St Colmcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown and St Vincent’s Hospital

Developing an Orthogeriatric Service: Trauma, Controlled Trauma and Acute Geriatric Medicine   Dr Helen O’ Brien, Consultant Geriatrician, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda

Rehabilitation of the Ortho-geriatric Population from the Acute Hospital Setting to Home   Ms Sarah McShane, Senior Physiotherapist, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda

Bone Health & Approaches to Future Fracture Risk Reduction: An Osteoporosis Update   Dr Tomás Ahern, Consultant Endocrinologist, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda

Panel Discussion and Q & A



Tomás Ahern took up his present appointment as Consultant Endocrinologist in the Louth Hospitals in 2016. Prior to this, he completed a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology in Manchester Royal Infirmary and was appointed as a Consultant in Endocrinology at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust. In his current role, he has set up specialist reproductive endocrinology and metabolic bone clinics.

Dr Rachael Doyle is a Consultant Geriatrician and Orthogeriatrician in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, St. Columcille’s Hospital and Associate Clinical Professor in UCD. She is a UCD graduate who trained in Ireland and completed her training in the UK. She worked as specialist registrar and later as a Consultant in the Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital and Freeman Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne before taking up her current role. She has developed the hip fracture pathway locally. She is a member of the Major trauma Audit National Governance committee. She is Chair of the Irish Heart Foundation Council of Stroke.  She has published in the area of trauma, orthopaedics and stroke.


Sarah McShane is a senior physiotherapist working in Our Lady of Lourdes hospital Drogheda on an acute orthopaedic ward. She has a keen interest in musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions. Since graduating from the Royal College of Surgeons Dublin in 2011, Sarah has completed her MSc in Neuromuscloskeletal therapy in 2017. Currently, Sarah is carrying out research into the recovery of hip fracture patients, in the acute setting, post-surgical intervention.


Helen O’ Brien is a Geriatrician working in Orthogeriatrics at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda and an Honorary Clinical Lecturer in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. Her research interests include perioperative cognitive dysfunction in the older surgical patient, frailty, falls and syncope. After graduating from University College Dublin in 2007, and postgraduate specialist training in Galway and Dublin, and clinical fellowship in falls and syncope, Helen completed her PhD in Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin in 2017. She was the Physician Health and Wellbeing co-lead in the Royal College of Physicians Ireland and successfully developed a number of resources for doctors nationally. Following publication in Annals of Surgery, Helen has been an invited speaker at the European Anaesthesia Congress in Vienna in 2019.


Diarmuid O’Shea is President of the Irish Gerontological Society and consultant physician in geriatric medicine at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin.