Cost analysis showed that feeding preterm infants with donor human milk was significantly more expensive than mother's milk or formula

Josefine Fengler, Matthias Heckmann, Anja Lange, Axel Kramer, Steffen Flessa
Acta Paediatrica 2019 November 8

AIM: This study analysed the comparative cost of feeding donor human milk to preterm infants compared to mother's own milk and formula.

METHODS: A document and process analysis and a time measurement study were carried out at the milk bank of the Level 1 Perinatal Center of the University Hospital of Greifswald, Germany, from April to June 2017. The cost analysis data was provided by the University's financial department.

RESULTS: The total cost per year was €92,085.02 for 300 litres of donor human milk: 27% of this was material costs, 51% was personnel costs and 22% was other overheads. The average cost per litre was €306.95 and staff time was 492 minutes per litre. The total marginal cost for each additional litre of donor human milk, formula or unpasteurised mother's milk was €82.88, €10.28 and €38.42, respectively. Pasteurising a litre of donor milk cost €3.51.

CONCLUSION: Providing preterm infants with donor milk was much more expensive than using formula or mother's own milk, but the cost of pasteurisation was minimal.


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