Costs and Extra Length of Stay because of Neonatal Bloodstream Infection at a Teaching Hospital in Ghana

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  • Ama Pokuaa Fenny, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
  • Evans Otieku
  • Kwaku Appiah-Korang Labi, Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
  • Felix Ankomah Asante, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
  • Ulrika Enemark

BACKGROUND: There are no published studies on the costs of hospital-acquired neonatal bloodstream infection (BSI) in Ghana. Therefore, this study aims to calculate the cost and extra length of stay (LOS) of neonatal BSI. A prospective case-control study was undertaken at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Ghana.

METHODS: The clinical data of 357 neonates were prospectively analysed. Overall, 100 neonates with BSI and 100 control neonates without BSI were matched by weight, sex and type of delivery. The direct and indirect costs to neonates and their caregivers was obtained on a daily basis. The cost of drugs was confirmed with the Pharmacy Department at KBTH. A count data model, specifically negative binomial regression, was employed to estimate the extra LOS in the NICU due to neonatal BSI. The study analyzed the total, average and marginal costs of neonatal BSI for the case and control groups from the perspective of the patients/carers/providers.

RESULTS: Fifty-four percent of the total sample were born with a low birth weight. Neonates with BSI recorded higher costs compared with neonates without BSI. The highest difference in direct costs was recorded among neonates with extremely low birth weight (US$732), which is 67% higher than similar neonates without BSI. The regression estimates show a significant correlation between neonatal BSI and LOS in the NICU (p < 0.001). Neonates with BSI stayed an additional 10 days in the NICU compared with their matched cohort. The LOS varies significantly depending on the neonate's weight at birth. The extra days range from 1 day for neonates defined as macrosomia to 15 extra days for extremely low birth weight neonates.

CONCLUSIONS: Neonatal BSI was significantly associated with prolonged LOS. The continuous presence of experienced medical staff, as well as parents, to monitor newborns during their stay on the ward has enormous economic burden on both hospitals and caregivers.

TidsskriftPharmacoEconomics open
Sider (fra-til)111–120
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021

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