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Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2018 Jun;18(3):331-337. doi: 10.1080/14737167.2018.1411804. Epub 2017 Dec 5.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of the use of high-flow oxygen through nasal cannula in intensive care units in NHS England.

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a York Health Economics Consortium, Enterprise House, Innovation Way , University of York , York.



To estimate the cost-effectiveness of Nasal High Flow (NHF) in the intensive care unit (ICU) compared with standard oxygen or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) from a UK NHS perspective.


Three cost-effectiveness models were developed to reflect scenarios of NHF use: first-line therapy (pre-intubation model); post-extubation in low-risk, and high-risk patients. All models used randomized control trial data on the incidence of intubation/re-intubation, events leading to intubation/re-intubation, mortality and complications. NHS reference costs were primarily used. Sensitivity analyses were conducted.


When used as first-line therapy, Optiflow™ NHF gives an estimated cost-saving of £469 per patient compared with standard oxygen and £611 versus NIV. NHF cost-savings for high severity sub-group were £727 versus standard oxygen, and £1,011 versus NIV. For low-risk post-intubation patients, NHF generates estimated cost-saving of £156 versus standard oxygen. NHF decreases the number of re-intubations required in these scenarios. Results were robust in most sensitivity analyses. For high-risk post-intubation patients, NHF cost-savings were £104 versus NIV. NHF results in a non-significant increase in re-intubations required. However, reduction in respiratory failure offsets this.


For patients in ICU who are at risk of intubation or re-intubation, NHF cannula is likely to be cost-saving.


Cost analysis; humidifier; intratracheal intubation; noninvasive ventilation; oxygen inhalation therapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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