Background Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Italy, there are approximately 200,000 new cases each year, of which about 80% are ischaemic. Thrombolysis performed within three hours of an ischaemic event reduces disability. Since 2005, emergency staff in the “Infermi di Rivoli” Hospital (a centre participating in the SITS trial, Safe Implementation of Treatments in Stroke) have been trained to use novel treatment protocols, thereby expediting treatment for these patients.
Purpose To estimate the savings resulting from reduced disability in patients treated with thrombolysis in the Rivoli Hospital.
Materials and methods To calculate the savings arising from the thrombolytic treatment in Rivoli hospital we extracted data about treatment efficacy in reducing post-stroke disability from the third international stroke trial (IST-3).
To assign costs according to the degree of disability, we used recent national and international cost of illness studies for medical, non-medical and indirect costs accrued following an ischaemic event.
We’ve also added the costs of drug administration in the cohort of patients treated with thrombolysis.
Using a specially designed economic model, we used these data to estimate the potential savings from early thrombolytic treatment.
Results Since thrombolytic treatment was introduced in the Rivoli Hospital, 146 patients received efficient stroke treatment due to improved treatment protocols resulting from the intensive training of internal staff.
This prompt and effective treatment has resulted in a significant improvement in quality of life. The reduction in disability observed in patients following timely stroke treatment has resulted in estimated total savings of 218,592.50 € since 2005.
Conclusions The significant savings generated within the city area served by the Rivoli Hospital (population 364,234) as a result of better treatment for a single neurological disease, has important implications regarding the implementation of similar treatment protocols at larger institutions.
No conflict of interest.
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