BACKGROUND : In recent years, decreasing financial resources led to the use of lower-dose platelet components. However, the economic consequences of the use of such components have not been carefully studied.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A formal economic analysis was conducted of a recently reported, prospective, randomized, double-blind study examining the platelet dose–response relationship in nonrefractory patients. The economic analysis used a decision analysis model, conducted from the hospital's perspective and based directly on the observed clinical data and on institutional cost structures.
RESULTS : The decision analysis model estimated that a 38-percent reduction in mean platelet dose, within the commonly prescribed dose range, would result in the average patient's requiring approximately 60 percent more transfusions in the posttransplant period (8 vs. 5; p = 0.05), which would result in an estimated 60-percent increase in the median cost to the hospital ($4486/patient vs. $2804/patient [in 1996 US dollars], p = 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Efforts to decrease costs by utilizing lower-dose single-donor platelet transfusions are predicted to result in a disproportionate increase in the number of transfusions per patient, with a corresponding increase in overall hospital transfusion costs.