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2019 Sep 30

Ann Burns Fire Disasters



Estimating the cost impact of dressing choice in the context of a mass burns casualty event.


Lowin J, Winfield T, Price P, Anderson P, Potokar T
Ann Burns Fire Disasters. 2019 Sep 30; 32(3):222-226.
PMID: 32313537.


Mass casualty burn events (MCBs) require intense and complex management. Silver-infused longer use dressings might help optimise management of burns in an MCB setting. We developed a model estimating the impact of dressing choice in the context of an MCB. The model was developed in Excel in collaboration with experienced emergency response clinicians. The model compares use of silver-infused dressings with use of traditional dressings in patients with partial thickness burns covering 30% of their body. Costs were estimated from a UK perspective as a proxy for a funded emergency response team and limited to cost of dressings, bandages, padding, analgesia and staff time. Expected patient costs and resource use were summarised over an acute 2-week intervention period and extrapolated to estimate possible time savings in a hypothetical MCB. Per patient costs were estimated at £2,002 (silver) and £1,124 (traditional) (a daily additional spend of £63). Per patient staff time was estimated at 864 minutes (silver) and 1,200 minutes (traditional) (a daily time saving of 24 minutes). Multiplying up to a possible MCB population of 20 could result in a saving equivalent to 9 staff shifts over the 2-week intervention period. The model was sensitive to type of silver dressing, frequency of dressing change and staff costs. We found increased costs through use of silver dressings but time savings that might help optimise burns management in an MCB. Exploring the balance between costs and staff time might help future MCB response preparation.