Background: A recently performed randomised controlled trial investigated the clinical effectiveness of dermal substitutes (DS) and split skin grafts (SSG) in combination with topical negative pressure (TNP) in the surgical treatment of burn wounds. In the current study, medical and non-medical costs were investigated, to comprehensively assess the benefits of this new treatment. Methods: The primary outcome was mean total costs of the four treatment strategies: SSG with or without DS, and with or without TNP. Costs were studied from a societal perspective. Findings were evaluated in light of the clinical effects on scar elasticity. Results: Eighty-six patients were included. Twelve months post-operatively, highest elasticity was measured in scars treated with DS and TNP (p = 0.027). The initial cost price of treatment with DS and TNP was €2912 compared to treatment with SSG alone €1703 (p < 0.001). However, mean total costs per patient did not differ significantly between groups (range €29 097-€43 774). Discussion: Costs of the interventional treatment contributed maximal 7% to the total costs and total costs varied widely within and between groups, but were not significantly different. Therefore, in the selection of the most optimal type of surgical intervention, cost considerations should not play an important role.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hop, M. J., Bloemen, H., van Baar, M., Nieuwenhuis, M., van Zuijlen, P. P. M., Polinder, S., & Middelkoop, E. (2013). Cost study of dermal substitutes and topical negative pressure in the surgical treatment of burns. Burns. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2013.08.025