Blood Transfus 2019; 17: 16-26 DOI 10.2450/2018.0213-17

A model-based cost-effectiveness analysis of Patient Blood Management

Adina Kleinerüschkamp1, Patrick Meybohm1, Niels Straub2, Kai Zacharowski1, Suma Choorapoikayil1

1Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt; 2Institute of Market Research, Statistics and Prognosis, Munich, Germany


Background. Patient blood management (PBM) is a multidisciplinary concept focused on the management of anaemia, minimisation of iatrogenic blood loss and rational use of allogeneic blood products. The aims of this study were: (i) to analyse post-operative outcome in patients with liberal vs restrictive exposure to allogeneic blood products and (ii) to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of PBM in patients undergoing surgery.

Materials and methods. A systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed to compare post-operative complications in predominantly non-transfused patients (restrictive transfusion group) and patients who received one to three units of red blood cells (liberal transfusion group). Outcome measures included sepsis with/without pneumonia, acute renal failure, acute myocardial infarction and acute stroke. In a second step, a health economic model was developed to calculate cost-effectiveness of PBM (PBM-arm vs control-arm) for simulated cohorts of 10,000 cardiac and non-cardiac surgical patients based on the results of the meta-analysis and costs.

Results. Out of 478 search results, 22 studies were analysed in the meta-analysis. The pooled relative risk of any complication in the restrictive transfusion group was 0.43 for non-cardiac and 0.34 for cardiac surgical patients. In the simulation model, PBM was related to reduced complications (1,768 vs 1,245) and complication-related deaths (411 vs 304) compared to standard care. PBM-related costs of therapy exceeded costs of the control arm by € 150 per patient. However, total costs, including hospitalisation, were higher in the control-arm for both non-cardiac (€ 2,885.11) and cardiac surgery patients (€ 1,760.69). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio including hospitalisation showed savings of € 30,458 (non-cardiac and cardiac surgery patients) for preventing one complication and € 128,023 (non-cardiac and cardiac surgery patients) for prevention of one complication-related death in the PBM-arm.

Discussion. Our results indicate that PBM may be associated with fewer adverse clinical outcomes compared to control management and may, thereby, be cost-effective.

Keywords: patient blood management, transfusion, outcome, cost-effectiveness-analysis, health economics.