Comparison of two oxygen saturation targets to decide on hospital discharge of infants with viral bronchiolitis living at high altitudes: a cost-effectiveness analysis
Methods: A decision analysis model was developed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of the use of an SpO2 threshold of 90% versus one of 85% for deciding whether infants hospitalized for viral bronchiolitis can be safely discharged to home, from a third-party payer's perspective. The main outcome was discharge to home at day 4 of the initial hospitalization. The time horizon was 28 days after discharge from hospital. We performed deterministic sensitivity analyses and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
Results: Compared to the use of an SpO2 threshold of 90%, treating infants with viral bronchiolitis with the use of an SpO2 threshold of 85% resulted in lower total costs (US$119.39 vs. US$188.357 mean cost per patient) and a greater probability of discharge to home at day 4 of the initial hospitalization (0.8400 vs. 0.7600), therefore being a dominant strategy. Sensitivity analyses were in line with base case results.
Conclusions: In Bogota, a high-altitude city, in infants admitted for viral bronchiolitis, the use of an SpO2 threshold of 85% to decide on hospital discharge when all other discharge criteria are met is dominant because it entails a greater probability of discharge to home at day 4 of the initial hospitalization and generates fewer costs than the use of an SpO2 threshold of 90%.
Keywords: Bronchiolitis; cost‐effectiveness; health economics; high-altitude; oxygen saturation