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Name of Media:

Cost effectiveness of adult intensive care in the UK


S. Ridley, and S. Morris

Publisher or Source:

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland

Type of Media:

Medical Journal

Media Originally for:

Critical Care Physicians, General Medical Professionals, Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals

Country of Origin:

United Kingdom

Primary Focus of Media:

Pre-Use of PICS Designation

COVID-19 Related:



We wished to investigate whether intensive care represents good value for money to the National Health Service in the UK using cost-effectiveness analysis. We developed a cost-effectiveness model using secondary data sources to estimate the incremental cost per quality adjusted life year gained of treatment in intensive care vs non-intensive care treatment in adults. Estimates of hospital mortality with and without intensive care were obtained from seven published studies and from
data published by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre. Quality of life estimates were obtained from a literature review and NHS reference costs were used. Relative to non-intensive care treatment, the incremental cost per quality adjusted life year gained of treatment in intensive care is £7010. This figure is sensitive to the mortality risk reduction associated with intensive care. Despite the high daily cost of intensive care, its cost-effectiveness is excellent and compares favourably with other commonly used health interventions. Our findings suggest that adult intensive care represents good value for money.

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