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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Care of patients with a low probability of acute myocardial infarction. Cost effectiveness of alternatives to coronary-care-unit admission.

We conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis to examine the clinical and economic consequences of alternatives to admission to a coronary-care unit for patients who have a relatively low probability of acute myocardial infarction. Despite the fact that all our assumptions were slanted to favor the current standard policy of admission to a coronary-care unit, our analysis shows that admission to an intermediate-care unit providing resuscitative facilities and prophylactic lidocaine is highly cost effective. For patients with about a 5 per cent probability of infarction, admission to a coronary-care unit would cost $2.04 million per life saved and $139,000 per year of life saved, as compared with intermediate care. For the expected number of such patients annually in the United States, the cost would be $297 million to save 145 lives. At probabilities of infarction up to about 20 per cent, the incremental cost to save a year of life by choosing a coronary-care unit over an intermediate-care unit would be higher than the estimated cost of saving a year of life by treating a 40-year-old man with mild hypertension. Our results suggest that many patients who have a low risk of acute myocardial infarction would be appropriate candidates for admission to an intermediate-care unit.[1]


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