Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Cost of surfactant replacement treatment for severe neonatal respiratory distress syndrome: a randomised controlled trial.

British Medical Journal 1990; 301 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.301.6756.842 (Published 13 October 1990) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1990;301:842
  1. T R Tubman,
  2. H L Halliday,
  3. C Normand
  1. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE--To estimate the cost of treating babies with severe respiratory distress syndrome with natural porcine surfactant. DESIGN--Retrospective controlled survey. SETTING--Regional neonatal intensive care unit, Belfast. PATIENTS--33 Preterm babies with severe respiratory distress syndrome who were enrolled in a European multicentre trial during 1985-7. 19 Babies were treated with surfactant and 14 served as controls. INTERVENTIONS--Treatment with natural porcine surfactant. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Cost associated with surfactant replacement treatment per extra survivor in the treatment group and cost per quality adjusted life year for each extra survivor. RESULTS--Fifteen (79%) of the 19 treated babies and five (36%) of the 14 control babies survived. On average, the control babies required 20 days in hospital compared with 61 days for the treated babies (or 95 [corrected] days per extra survivor in the treatment group). The cost per extra survivor in the treatment group was pounds 13,720, with the cost per quality adjusted life year estimated at pounds 710. CONCLUSION--These costs compare favourably with those of established forms of treatment in adults. Thus surfactant replacement treatment for severe respiratory distress syndrome is fairly inexpensive and cost effective.