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N Engl J Med. 1983 Jun 2;308(22):1330-7.

Economic evaluation of neonatal intensive care of very-low-birth-weight infants.

Abstract

We evaluated the economic aspects of neonatal intensive care of very-low-birth-weight infants, using outcomes and costs of care before and after the introduction of a regional neonatal-intensive-care program. Neonatal intensive care increased both survival rates and costs. For newborns weighing 1000 to 1499 g, the cost (in 1978 Canadian dollars) was $59,500 per additional survivor, $2,900 per life-year gained, and $3,200 per quality-adjusted life-year gained; intensive care resulted in a net economic gain when figures were undiscounted but a net economic loss when future costs, effects, and earnings were discounted at 5 per cent per annum. For infants weighing 500 to 999 g, the corresponding costs were $102,500 per additional survivor, $9,300 per life-year gained, and $22,400 per quality-adjusted life-year gained; intensive care resulted in a net economic loss. By every measure of economic evaluation, the impact of neonatal intensive care was more favorable among infants weighing 1000 to 1499 g than among those weighing 500 to 999 g. A judgment concerning the relative economic value of neonatal intensive care of very-low-birth-weight infants requires a comparison with other health programs.

PMID:
6405272
DOI:
10.1056/NEJM198306023082206
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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