An economic model: value of antimicrobial-coated sutures to society, hospitals, and third-party payers in preventing abdominal surgical site infections.


Triclosan-coated sutures saved $4,109-$13,975 (hospital perspective), $4,133-$14,297 (third-party payer perspective), and $40,127-$53,244 (societal perspective) per SSI prevented, when a surgery had a 15% SSI risk, depending on their efficacy. If the SSI risk was no more than 5% and the efficacy in preventing SSIs was no more than 10%, triclosan-coated sutures resulted in extra expenditure for hospitals and third-party payers (resulting in extra costs of $1,626 and $1,071 per SSI prevented for hospitals and third-party payers, respectively; SSI risk, 5%; efficacy, 10%).

Using TreeAge Pro, we developed a decision analytic model to determine the cost-effectiveness of using antimicrobial sutures in abdominal incisions from the hospital, third-party payer, and societal perspectives. Sensitivity analyses systematically varied the risk of developing an SSI (range, 5%-20%), the cost of triclosan-coated sutures (range, $5-$25/inch), and triclosan-coated suture efficacy in preventing infection (range, 5%-50%) to highlight the range of costs associated with using such sutures.

Our results suggest that switching to triclosan-coated sutures from the uncoated sutures can both prevent SSIs and save substantial costs for hospitals, third-party payers, and society, as long as efficacy in preventing SSIs is at least 10% and SSI risk is at least 10%.

While the persistence of high surgical site infection (SSI) rates has prompted the advent of more expensive sutures that are coated with antimicrobial agents to prevent SSIs, the economic value of such sutures has yet to be determined.

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