COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Cost-consequence analysis comparing 2-octyl cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive and suture for closure of simple lacerations: a randomized controlled trial

S Y Man, E M L Wong, Y C Ng, P F Lau, M S Chan, V Lopez, P S K Mak, C A Graham, T H Rainer
Annals of Emergency Medicine 2009, 53 (2): 189-97
18440668

STUDY OBJECTIVE: We investigate the cost difference between conventional suture and tissue adhesive methods in simple wound closure.

METHODS: A cost-consequence analysis was conducted alongside a nonblinded randomized controlled trial comparing 2-octyl cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive with conventional suture in simple lacerations closure in emergency departments (EDs) of a university teaching hospital and a major regional hospital in Hong Kong. One hundred eighty-six adult patients with simple lacerations of length within 8 cm were randomized to receive tissue adhesive (93 patients) or conventional suture (93 patients) for wound closure. The primary outcome measures were the costs to the Hospital Authority and the charges on participants incurred in each treatment method. The secondary outcome measures included the cosmetic visual analog scale, visual analog scale, Wound Evaluation Score, total time spent in each closure method, and the overall patients' satisfaction on the whole process of wound management.

RESULTS: The 2 groups had similar baseline characteristics. The tissue adhesive method incurred a higher cost to the Hospital Authority (216.12 [US $27.70] versus 171.33 [US $21.96]; absolute difference 44.79 [US $5.74] [95% confidence interval (CI) 32.76 to 55.95 [US $4.20 to 7.14]]) but a lower charge to patients (109.68 [US $14.06] versus 156.96 [US $20.12]; absolute difference 47.28 [US $6.06] [95% CI, 35.58 to 58.98 [US $4.56 to 7.56]) than the conventional suture method. The mean cosmetic visual analog scale score, visual analog scale score, and Wound Evaluation Score of the 2 groups were similar at various intervals within 3 months after wound closure. Compared with the suture group, the tissue adhesive group had a shorter median procedure time, fewer patients had wound erythema or swelling after wound closure, fewer patients required analgesics on discharge at ED, and there was a higher overall patient satisfaction score.

CONCLUSION: Simple wounds closed by tissue adhesives incur a higher cost to the Hospital Authority than the conventional suture but may be favored by patients because of lower personal charge.

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