Cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative cooling strategies following cardiac arrest

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Objectives: Using survival and neurologic outcome as endpoints, this study explored the incremental cost effectiveness of three mutually exclusive cooling strategies employed after resuscitated out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Design: Economic analysis based on retrospective data collection and Markov modeling. Setting: Modeling based on patients housed in a tertiary ICU setting. Patients: Patients >18 years following resuscitation from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Interventions: Therapeutic cooling vs. conventional care. Measurements and main results: Using societal-based analytic decision modeling with a lifetime study horizon, incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for blanket, peritoneal lavage, and V–V ECMO cooling strategies were compared with conventional care. Comprehensive cost data were obtained from available literature, national and local databases; health utility data were abstracted from previous publications and converted to quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)/person and stratified by neurologic outcome state. Future costs were discounted using a standard 3% discount rate. Cooling blankets produced better overall health outcomes at a lower cost than conventional care and V–V ECMO. Peritoneal lavage added an additional 0.67 QALYs at an ICER of $58,329/QALY. Monte-Carlo simulations incorporating uncertainty in all parameters showed that peritoneal lavage was 70% likely to be the preferred, cost-effective therapy if one were willing to pay (WTP) $100,000/QALY. Conclusions: This analysis suggests that blankets are the most cost effective cooling strategy for post-ROSC therapeutic hypothermia, with peritoneal lavage as an acceptable alternative at higher WTP thresholds. Though uncertainty about the optimal therapy could be reduced with additional research, these results can inform policy-makers and healthcare providers about cost effectiveness of alternative cooling modalities designed to improve neurologic outcome for this expanding patient population. This may be particularly relevant as societal-based cost effectiveness analyses become more widely incorporated into studies evaluating treatment for frequently encountered diseases.




Gajarski, R. J., Smitko, K., Despres, R., Meden, J., & Hutton, D. W. (2015). Cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative cooling strategies following cardiac arrest. SpringerPlus, 4(1).

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