JOURNAL ARTICLE

An economic model to assess the cost and benefits of the routine use of silver alloy coated urinary catheters to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in catheterized patients

R Plowman, N Graves, J Esquivel, J A Roberts
Journal of Hospital Infection 2001, 48 (1): 33-42
11358469
Prevalence studies generally find nosocomial urinary tract infections to be the most common type of nosocomial infection, accounting for between 21% and 45% of all HAIs. The main risk factor appears to be the presence of a urinary catheter, with an estimated 80% of these infections being associated with their use. This paper describes a model which quantifies the extent of the burden of these infections in terms of the number of patients affected and the costs incurred by the hospital sector; and identifies the potential benefits of the routine use of silver alloy coated catheters, as a means of reducing the incidence of this type of infection. An illustrative model of the annual costs and benefits associated with the routine use of this intervention in adult, non-day case patients admitted to the medical and surgical specialties of NHS hospitals throughout England is presented. The results suggest that a 14.6% reduction in the incidence of urinary tract infections in catheterized medical patients, and a 11.4% reduction in catheterized surgical patients, would cover the cost of the intervention. Any further reduction in incidence would result in net positive benefits.

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