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Cooling treatment after cardiac arrest is cost-effective, Penn study shows
Date:8/5/2009

-discharge care required. They found that hypothermia has a cost of less than $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY), a measurement designed to illustrate the gains in both extra years of life and quality of life from a particular treatment.

Previous research has shown that about six out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients need to be treated with hypothermia in order for one additional patient to be discharged without the brain damage that characterizes many survivors. Even when the authors of the new study adjusted their model to increase the proportion of neurologically impaired survivors in the group who received hypothermia, results still showed favorable cost-effectiveness estimates for hypothermia.

The findings also revealed that hypothermia treatment is actually less expensive than other interventions that have been implemented to treat cardiac arrest across the United States, including widespread CPR and defibrillation training for the public. In addition, the new research is among few studies to examine the costs of caring for patients who survive cardiac arrest with neurological deficits a tremendous burden for the health care system and family caregivers.

"There are very few treatments for cardiac arrest victims, and hypothermia stands out as the only therapy which can improve neurologic survival," Merchant says. "Hospitals and physicians should promote rapid adoption of this treatment for patients, and cost should not be considered a barrier to use."


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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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