Evaluating the Cost-effectiveness of Prehospital Plasma Transfusion in Unstable Trauma Patients: A Secondary Analysis of the PAMPer Trial

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JAMA Surgery


Importance: Prehospital plasma transfusion is lifesaving for trauma patients in hemorrhagic shock but is not commonly used owing to cost and feasibility concerns. Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of prehospital thawed plasma transfusion in trauma patients with hemorrhagic shock during air medical transport. Design, Setting, and Participants: A decision tree and Markov model were created to compare standard care and prehospital thawed plasma transfusion using published and unpublished patient-level data from the Prehospital Plasma in Air Medical Transport in Trauma Patients at Risk for Hemorrhagic Shock (PAMPer) trial conducted from May 2014 to October 2017, health care and trauma-specific databases, and the published literature. Prehospital transfusion, short-term inpatient care, and lifetime health care costs and quality of life outcomes were included. One-way, 2-way, and Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed across clinically plausible ranges. Data were analyzed in December 2019. Main Outcomes and Measures: Relative costs and health-related quality of life were evaluated by an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio at a standard willingness-to-pay threshold of $100000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Results: The trial included 501 patients in the modified intention-to-treat cohort. Median (interquartile range) age for patients in the thawed plasma and standard care cohorts were 44 (31-59) and 46 (28-60) years, respectively. Overall, 364 patients (72.7%) were male. Thawed plasma transfusion was cost-effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $50467.44 per QALY compared with standard care. The preference for thawed plasma was robust across all 1- and 2-way sensitivity analyses. When considering only patients injured by a blunt mechanism, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio decreased to $37735.19 per QALY. Thawed plasma was preferred in 8140 of 10000 iterations (81.4%) on probabilistic sensitivity analysis. A detailed analysis of incremental costs between strategies revealed most were attributable to the in-hospital and postdischarge lifetime care of critically ill patients surviving severe trauma. Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, prehospital thawed plasma transfusion during air medical transport for trauma patients in hemorrhagic shock was lifesaving and cost-effective compared with standard care and should become commonplace..

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American Medical Association