BALTIMORE, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Trauma center treatment is expensive but the benefits, in terms of lives saved and quality of life-years gained, outweigh the costs, a U.S. researcher says.
Ellen MacKenzie of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy in Baltimore says the added cost of treatment at a trauma center versus non-trauma center is $36,319 for every life-year gained or $790,931 per life saved. By way of comparison, a cost of $50,000-$100,000 a year is often cited as acceptable for renal dialysis.
The report found trauma center care is cost-effective for all patients taken together, and is of particular value for people with very severe injuries and those younger than age 55.
To determine cost-effectiveness, the researchers calculated the cost per life saved, cost per life-year gained and cost per quality-adjusted life-year gained. A total of 5,043 patients contributed to the cost-effectiveness analysis from 69 participating hospitals -- 18 trauma centers and 51 non-trauma centers -- in 14 states.
"Taken together with our previous work demonstrating the effectiveness of trauma centers in saving lives, the results unequivocally support the need for continued efforts and funding for regionalized systems of trauma care in the United States," MacKenzie said.
The study is published in the Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care.