Cost-effectiveness of the non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG): Evidence from a cluster randomized controlled trial in Zambia and Zimbabwe

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Background: Obstetric hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality, particularly in low resource settings where delays in obtaining definitive care contribute to high rates of death. The non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG) first-aid device has been demonstrated to be highly cost-effective when applied at the referral hospital (RH) level. In this analysis we evaluate the incremental cost-effectiveness of early NASG application at the Primary Health Center (PHC) compared to later application at the RH in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Methods: We obtained data on health outcomes and costs from a cluster-randomized clinical trial (CRCT) and participating study hospitals. We translated health outcomes into disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) using standard methods. Econometric regressions estimated the contribution of earlier PHC NASG application to DALYs and costs, varying geographic covariates (country, referral hospital) to yield regression models best fit to the data. We calculated cost-effectiveness as the ratio of added costs to averted DALYs for earlier PHC NASG application compared to later RH NASG application. Results: Overall, the cost-effectiveness of early application of the NASG at the primary health care level compared to waiting until arrival at the referral hospital was $21.78 per DALY averted ($15.51 in added costs divided by 0.712 DALYs averted per woman, both statistically significant). By country, the results were very similar in Zambia, though not statistically significant in Zimbabwe. Sensitivity analysis suggests that results are robust to a per-protocol outcome analysis and are sensitive to the cost of blood transfusions. Conclusions: Early NASG application at the PHC for women in hypovolemic shock has the potential to be cost-effective across many clinical settings. The NASG is designed to reverse shock and decrease further bleeding for women with obstetric hemorrhage; therefore, women who have received the NASG earlier may be better able to survive delays in reaching definitive care at the RH and recover more quickly from shock, all at a cost that is highly acceptable.




Downing, J., El Ayadi, A., Miller, S., Butrick, E., Mkumba, G., Magwali, T., … Kahn, J. G. (2015). Cost-effectiveness of the non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG): Evidence from a cluster randomized controlled trial in Zambia and Zimbabwe. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1).

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