13 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether the use of exogenous surfactant (Infasurf) in pediatric acute hypoxemic respiratory failure is cost-effective. Design: Deterministic cost-effectiveness analysis based on a Markov model. The model was calibrated using outcomes and resource utilization observed in a multiple-centered, prospective, randomized, controlled unblinded trial of Infasurf in pediatric acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. Costs were short-run direct costs estimated from the perspective of the hospital as provider. Primary outcomes were expected costs, expected survival rates, and incremental cost per life saved. Setting: Patients in the trial were treated in one of eight pediatric intensive care units of tertiary medical centers. Patients: Forty-two children with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure who were randomized to receive either standard therapy or exogenous surfactant in addition to standard therapy. Measurements and main results: Our baseline analysis suggests that for a 10-kg child, the Infasurf strategy is both less costly ($62,922 vs. $74,006) and more effective (survival: 90.3% vs. 85.1%) and therefore dominates standard treatment. Cost savings were realized in the model because patients in the surfactant group were more likely to leave the pediatric intensive care unit sooner. The Infasurf strategy continues to dominate for children up to 60 kg. At 70 kg, the cost to save an additional life using the Infasurf strategy is $79,805, which is still cost-effective if the provider is willing to make this tradeoff. Conclusions: For the majority of pediatric patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, exogenous surfactant is cost-effective. If the use of this medication becomes standard care, a greater variety of packaging sizes could lead to decreased acquisition costs and increase the number of patients for whom this treatment is cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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