Costs of inadvertent perioperative hypothermia in Australia: a cost-of-illness study

Ralph, Nicholas ORCID: and Gow, Jeffrey ORCID: and Conway, Aaron and Duff, Jed and Edward, Karen-Leigh and Alexander, Kim and Brauer, Anselm (2020) Costs of inadvertent perioperative hypothermia in Australia: a cost-of-illness study. Collegian, 27 (4). pp. 345-351. ISSN 1322-7696


Background: A definitive cost analysis of preventing inadvertent perioperative hypothermia (IPH) in surgical patients in Australia is lacking. Preventing IPH is a common nurse-led initiative in surgery and cost savings represent the value of nursing care. Aim: The study aims are twofold. First, we aim to estimate the cost of the current prevalence of IPH in Australian hospitals. Second, is to estimate the potential cost reductions that could be realised by reducing IPH prevalence by using a thermal care bundle. Methods: Cost-of-illness analysis measures the economic burden of illness to society. It does so by identifying and measuring all costs of a disease or illness such as IPH. It was undertaken using a prevalence approach and a one-year time horizon. Findings: The annual costs of IPH to the Australian health system can be estimated to be $1,259,725,856. The annual net benefit of IPH prevention to the Australian health system is $602 million. Using a thermal care bundle to reduce IPH by actively warming 80% of the patients that are not warmed yet could save $657.1 million per year at the expense of $18.4 million. Discussion: Preventing IPH using active warming is estimated to lead to significant cost savings across the Australian health system. It is recommended that a national policy for preventing IPH is needed and guidelines must reflect up-to-date strategies for preventing IPH including active prewarming. Conclusion: The Thermal Care Bundle should be adopted to lower IPH incidence and associated costs in Australia.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 - )
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2020 00:01
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2022 02:12
Uncontrolled Keywords: inadvertent perioperative hypothermia; IPH; cost-of-illness; thermal care bundle; nurse-led initiative; costs; surgical patients in Australia
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420501 Acute care
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420503 Community and primary care
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