Cost and mortality data of a regional limb salvage and hyperbaric medicine program for Wagner Grade 3 or 4 diabetic foot ulcers

We obtained costs and mortality data in two retrospec tive cohorts totaling 159 patients who have diabetes mellitus and onset of a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU). Data were collected from 2005 to 2013, with a follow-up period through September 30, 2014. A total of 106 patients entered an evidence-based limb salvage protocol (LSP) for Wagner Grade 3 or 4 (WG3/4) DFU and intention-to-treat adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy. A second cohort of 53 patients had a primary lower extremity amputation (LEA), either below the knee (BKA) or above the knee (AKA) and were not part of the LSP. Ninety-six of 106 patients completed the LSP/HBO2 with an average cost of USD $33,100. Eighty-eight of 96 patients (91.7%) who completed the LSP/HBO2 had intact lower extremities at one year. Thirty-four of the 96 patients (35.4%) died during the follow-up period. Costs for a historical cohort of 53 patients having a primary major LEA range from USD $66,300 to USD $73,000. Twenty-five of the 53 patients (47.2%) died.The difference in cost of care and mortality between an LSP with adjunctive HBO2 therapy vs. primary LEA is staggering. We conclude that an aggressive limb salvage program that includes HBO2 therapy is cost-effective.

Categories: Costs, Dermatology, Infectology, Wounds