Cost Effectiveness of Ultrasound-Guided Long Peripheral Catheters in Difficult Vascular Access Patients.

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Journal of Vascular Access


OBJECTIVE: Peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) placement is a routinely performed invasive procedure in hospital settings with an unacceptably high failure rate that can result in significant costs. This investigation aimed to determine the cost-effectiveness of using long peripheral catheters (LPC) versus standard short peripheral catheters (SPC) in the difficult vascular access (DVA) population.

METHODS: A secondary analysis was performed of a randomized control trial that compared a 20-gauge 4.78 cm SPC to a 20-gauge 6.35 cm SPC for the endpoint of survival. This study assessed cost-effectiveness of the comparative interventions. Costs associated with increased hospitalization length of stay due to PIVC failure, including labor, materials, equipment, and treatment delays were estimated by utilizing healthcare resource utilization data. Cost-effectiveness of the LPC was analyzed through the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, the cost-effectiveness acceptability curve, and the incremental net benefit. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to evaluate the robustness of the results during the time interval of PIVC insertion.

RESULTS: Among the 257 patients, the average total cost for therapy was lower in the LPC group compared to the SPC group ($400 vs $521; mean difference -$121, 95% bootstrapped CI -$461 to $225). A marginally significant absolute difference of complication averted was found for LPC versus SPC (10.8%,

CONCLUSIONS: When using ultrasound guidance for vascular access, LPCs are potentially a cost-effective strategy for reducing PIVC complications in DVA patients compared to SPCs. Given this finding, ultrasound-guided LPCs should be routinely considered as first-line among the DVA population in order to improve their overall care and wellbeing.


Online ahead of print.

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