[abstract] AIR AMBULANCE EVACUATION COST NOT CORRELATED TO DCI SEVERITY OR OUTCOME.

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[abstract] AIR AMBULANCE EVACUATION COST NOT CORRELATED TO DCI SEVERITY OR OUTCOME.

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Title: [abstract] AIR AMBULANCE EVACUATION COST NOT CORRELATED TO DCI SEVERITY OR OUTCOME.
Author: Wacholtz, CJ; DeNoble, PJ
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: It is conventional wisdom that outcome in DCI is optimized with shorter delay to recompression. Therefore, all DCI cases are treated as an emergency and evacuation to treatment facility is often initiated prior to a definitive diagnosis. This is a costly procedure but the cost-benefits are rarely considered when dealing with an emergency. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the relationship of cost and outcome in air evacuated DCI cases. METHODS: DAN's contracted Assistance companies provided the cost, preliminary diagnosis and dive injury location information for the air evacuated DCI cases in period of 2000 through 2002. Data was compared to final diagnosis, location, delay to treatment and outcome at discharge reported by treating chambers. RESULTS: There were 63 air transports involving DCI cases. In 18 cases DAN had a matching Injury Report from treating chambers. The mean price by diagnosis is shown in Table 1 and the areas with most expensive transportation in Table 2. Table 1, Final Diag. N Cases Mean Cost Maximum Cost, DCI 55 $18,361.87 $47,495.50, Air Embolism 4 $17,251.22 $31,135.00, Possible DCI 2 $6,431.75 $12,403.30. Table 2: The most expensive areas, Country Mean Max, Solomon Island $37,841 $43,390, Truck $33,605 $47,496, Indonesia $29,603 $33,709, Micronesia $24,651 $47,028, Papua New Guinea $15,043 $41,600. There was no significant difference in transportation cost for DCS 1 and DCS 2 cases. Complete relief was achieved in 77percent of cases, at average cost of $6,800. In 22percent of cases that improved but had residual symptoms the average cost was $18,000. CONCLUSIONS: The cost of evacuation reflects the distance of evacuation and therefore correlates with delay to recompression and inversely correlates with outcome. Air ambulance transportation of DCI is most expensive in the Western Pacific. Improved outcome reporting would benefit future cost benefit analysis of DCI transports.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/1366
Date: 2003

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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