Background: Cardiac surgery patients colonized with Staphylococcus aureus have a greater risk of surgical site infection (SSI). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of decolonization strategies to prevent SSIs. Methods: We compared three decolonization strategies: universal decolonization (UD), all subjects treated; targeted decolonization (TD), only S aureus carriers treated; and no decolonization (ND). Decolonization included mupirocin, chlorhexidine, and vancomycin. We implemented a decision tree comparing the costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) of these strategies on SSI over a 1-year period for subjects undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery from a US health sector perspective. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted to address the uncertainty in the variables. Results: Universal decolonization was the dominant strategy because it resulted in reduced costs at near-equal QALYs compared with TD and ND. Compared with ND, UD decreased costs by $462 and increased QALYs by 0.002 per subject, whereas TD decreased costs by $205 and increased QALYs by 0.001 per subject. For 1,000 subjects, UD prevented 19 SSI and TD prevented 10 SSI compared with ND. Sensitivity analysis showed UD to be the most cost-effective strategy in more than 91% of simulations. For the 220,000 coronary artery bypass graft procedures performed yearly in the United States, UD would save $102 million whereas TD would save $45 million compared with ND. Conclusions: Universal decolonization outperforms other strategies. However, the potential costs savings of $57 million per 220,000 coronary artery bypass graft procedures comparing UD versus TD must be weighed against the potential risk of developing resistance associated with universal decolonization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine