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Cost-effectiveness of a semi-automatic external defibrillation program in Galicia

Iglesias Vázquez JA, Penas Penas M

Fundación Pública Urxencias Sanitarias de Galicia-061. Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Objective: To assess the cost-effectiveness of semiautomatic external defibrillator use in a
program started in 2001 by the emergency service of the public health service in Galicia,
Spain (the FPUS-061 service).
Methods: We calculated the survival rate after cardiorespiratory arrest before and after
starting use of semiautomatic external defibrillators; pre-program data for 1999-2000
were compared with data for 2006, when the program was in full operation. All costs
related to the program were identified, classified, and recorded; increases were then
calculated. Percentages of improvement between the baseline (100%) and second
measurement periods were assessed for 3 measures of effectiveness: attempted
resuscitations after cardiorespiratory arrest, recovery of vital constants, and survival on
hospital discharge. The cost-effectiveness ratio for all cardiorespiratory arrests was
compared with the ratio for arrests treated with a semiautomatic external defibrillator.
Results: Attempted resuscitations increased by 72% over baseline, recovery of vital
constants increased by 107%, and survival increased by 221%. Total costs related to
implementing the use of semiautomatic external defibrillators rose by €122 974.57. The
cost per survivor discharged after a cardiorespiratory arrest that was treated with a
semiautomatic external defibrillator was €8783.90.
Conclusions: The FPUS-061 program for using semiautomatic external defibrillators is
clearly effective in terms of the number of cardiorespiratory arrests attended, recovery of
vital constants, and survival at hospital discharge. Survival increased more than 200%
over the baseline situation. This study reveals that the cost-effectiveness ratio is very

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