Respir Care 2016 Jan 11;61(1):1-7. Epub 2015 Aug 11.
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
Background: An increasing number of centers are using active rehabilitation and ambulation for critically ill patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as a bridge to lung transplantation. This investigation assessed the economic impact at a single center of ambulatory versus non-ambulatory ECMO strategies as a bridge to lung transplantation.
Methods: We conducted a single-center retrospective cohort analysis of all subjects supported with ECMO as a bridge to lung transplantation (N = 9) from 2007 to 2012. Subjects who were rehabilitated while supported with ECMO before lung transplantation were compared with those who were not rehabilitated during ECMO. Hospital cost data for the month before transplantation through 12 months after the initial post-transplant hospital discharge were compared.
Results: The median cost (interquartile range [IQR]) in the 30 d before transplant for the ambulatory cohort was $88,137 (IQR $38,589-$122,111) compared with $52,124 (IQR $23,824-$69,929) for the non-ambulatory cohort (P = .08). The median post-transplant ICU cost for the ambulatory cohort was $38,468 (IQR $23,611-$64,126) compared with $143,407 (IQR $112,199-$168,993) for the non-ambulatory cohort (P = .01). The median total hospital cost for subjects supported with ambulatory ECMO was $213,086 (IQR $166,767-$264,536) compared with $273,291 (IQR $237,299-$374,175) for non-ambulatory ECMO subjects (P = .05). The median total cost for the ambulatory cohort was $268,194 (IQR $219,972-$517,320) compared with $300,307 (IQR $274,262-$394,913) for the non-ambulatory cohort (P = .14).
Conclusions: Subjects supported with ambulatory ECMO had a 22% ($60,204) reduction in total hospital cost, 73% ($104,939) reduction in post-transplant ICU cost, and 11% ($32,133) reduction in total cost compared with non-ambulatory ECMO subjects. This analysis demonstrates the potential economic benefit of rehabilitation and ambulation during ECMO compared with a traditional strategy.