Cost-Effectiveness of Public Automated External Defibrillators

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Lars W Andersen
  • Mathias J Holmberg
  • Asger Granfeldt
  • Lyndon P James, Center for Health Decision Science, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
  • ,
  • Lisa Caulley, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, Canada; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada; Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

BACKGROUND: Despite a consistent association with improved outcomes, public automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are rarely used in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. One of the barriers towards increased use might be cost-effectiveness.

METHODS: We compared the cost-effectiveness of public AEDs to no AEDs for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States over a life-time horizon. The analysis assumed a societal perspective and results are presented as costs per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). Model inputs were based on reviews of the literature. For the base case, we modelled an annual cardiac arrest incidence per AED of 20%. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis was conducted to account for joint parameter uncertainty.

RESULTS: The no AED strategy resulted in 1.63 QALYs at a cost of $28,964. The AED strategy yielded an additional 0.26 QALYs for an incremental increase in cost of $13,793 per individual. The AED strategy yielded an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $53,797 per QALY gained. The yearly incidence of cardiac arrests occurring in the presence of an AED had minimal effect on the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio except at very low incidences. In several sensitivity analyses across a plausible range of health care and societal estimates, the AED strategy remained cost-effective. In the probabilistic sensitivity analysis, the AED strategy was cost-effective in 43%, 85%, and 91% of the scenarios at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000, $100,000, and $150,000 per QALY gained, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Public AEDs are a cost-effective public health intervention in the United States. These findings support widespread dissemination of public AEDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Automated external defibrillators, Cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Public, Public health, United States

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