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J Pediatr. 1995 Jun;126(6):892-5.

Economic comparison of a tissue adhesive and suturing in the repair of pediatric facial lacerations.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



To determine, from the societal perspective, the most cost efficient of the three methods commonly used to repair pediatric facial lacerations: nondissolving sutures, dissolving sutures, or a tissue adhesive (Histoacryl blue).


Cost-minimization analysis and willingness-to-pay survey.


Tertiary-care pediatric emergency department.


All differential costs relevant to equipment utilization, pharmaceutical use, health care worker time, and parental loss of income for follow-up visits were calculated for each method. On the basis of previous research, our model assumes equal cosmetic outcome for the three methods. In addition, a convenience sample of 30 parents were surveyed in the emergency department to rank their preferences and willingness to pay for the three methods of wound closure.


The reduction in cost (in Canadian dollars) per patient of switching from the standard nondissolving sutures was $49.60 for switching to tissue adhesive and $37.90 for dissolving sutures. Sensitivity analyses performed on key variables did not significantly alter our conclusions. Of those parents surveyed; 90% (95% confidence interval, 74% to 98%) chose tissue adhesive and 10% (95% confidence interval, 2% to 26%) chose dissolving sutures as their first choice for wound closure. Nondissolving sutures were ranked third by 29 of 30 parents. Parents were willing to pay a median (25th to 75th percentile) of $40 ($25 to $100) for tissue adhesive and $25 ($10 to $56) for dissolving sutures if only nondissolving sutures provided by the health care system (p = 0.1).


Tissue adhesive is the preferred method of closure of pediatric facial lacerations because it results in the most efficient use of resources and is preferred by the majority of parents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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