Secondary transfer of emergency stroke patients eligible for mechanical thrombectomy by air in rural England: economic evaluation and considerations

Coughlan, Diarmuid, McMeekin, Peter, Flynn, Darren, Ford, Gary A, Lumley, Hannah, Burgess, David, Balami, Joyce, Mawson, Andrew, Craig, Dawn, Rice, Stephen and White, Phil (2021) Secondary transfer of emergency stroke patients eligible for mechanical thrombectomy by air in rural England: economic evaluation and considerations. Emergency Medicine Journal, 38 (1). pp. 33-39. ISSN 1472-0205

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-209039

Abstract

Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is a time-sensitive emergency procedure for patients who had ischaemic stroke leading to improved health outcomes. Health systems need to ensure that MT is delivered to as many patients as quickly as possible. Using decision modelling, we aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of secondary transfer by helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) compared with ground emergency medical services (GEMS) of rural patients eligible for MT in England. The model consisted of (1) a short-run decision tree with two branches, representing secondary transfer transportation strategies and (2) a long-run Markov model for a theoretical population of rural patients with a confirmed ischaemic stroke. Strategies were compared by lifetime costs: quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), incremental cost per QALY gained and net monetary benefit. Sensitivity and scenario analyses explored uncertainty around parameter values. We used the base case of early-presenting (6 hours to arterial puncture), ground transportation is the dominant strategy. Our model indicates that using HEMS to transfer patients who had stroke eligible for MT from remote hospitals in England may be cost-effective when: travel time is reduced by at least 60 min compared with GEMS, and a £30 000/QALY threshold is used for decision-making. However, several other logistic considerations may impact on the use of air transportation. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.]

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: emergency ambulance systems, emergency care systems, helicopter retrieval, management, remote and rural medicine, stroke, thromboembolic diseasex
Subjects: A900 Others in Medicine and Dentistry
B700 Nursing
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 10:31
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2021 16:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/44988

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