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Ann Vasc Surg. 2005 Nov;19(6):858-61.

Elective versus ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm repair: a 1-year cost-effectiveness analysis.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Peterborough Hospital, Peterborough, UK.

Abstract

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a life-threatening condition with an overall mortality of 80%. It predominantly affects men 65-74 years of age and is caused by focal distension of the main blood vessel in the abdomen. Most patients go undetected until their aneurysm ruptures. Controversy surrounds the most appropriate form of screening for AAA. Currently, screening is only carried out selectively in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Some patients have their AAA detected incidentally, whilst ultrasound examination of the abdomen is carried out for other indications. These patients have the opportunity to undergo surveillance or elective surgery. The mortality rate of emergency surgical intervention following rupture (50%) is far worse in comparison to that of patients undergoing planned intervention under specialist vascular surgeons (5%). Despite improvements in outcomes from elective intervention for AAA as a result of specialisation, the overall mortality from this condition remains very high (80%) as the commonest presentation of an AAA is rupture. Screening all men aged 65-74 years is considered too costly in the current economic climate. However the cost difference between elective repair and emergency repair of AAA must be considered given that the outcome from elective AAA repair is far superior to that following ruptured AAA repair. Our objective was to retrospectively collect costs and outcomes of elective and emergency AAA repair in order to carry out a cost-effectiveness analysis. Four multiprofessional teams in accident and emergency, operation theatres, intensive care, and surgical wards at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital were selected from health-care professionals including doctors, managers, nurses, and clerical staff with the purpose of obtaining costs. Detailed cost data collection sheets were prepared to calculate costs, which included staff costs, consumables including drugs, intravenous fluids, equipment, investigations, laundry, catering, and stationery. An inventory of costs per item was obtained, and the total cost was calculated from the number of items used. Outcomes were measured in terms of survival. The total costs of emergency AAA repair were pounds sterling 96,700.69, with a cost per life saved of pounds sterling 24,175.17. The total cost of elective AAA repair was pounds sterling 76,583.22, with a cost per life saved of pounds sterling 5,470.23. Emergency intervention for AAA was found to cost five times more than a planned intervention per life saved per year.

PMID:
16177868
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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