Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study in pediatrics shows nitric oxide therapy for newborns effective and cost saving

08.12.2003


Breakthrough treatment benefits patients and is less expensive than standard therapy



An inhaled treatment for critically ill newborns is less invasive, more effective and costs less than the treatment that has traditionally been used to treat a potentially fatal condition called hypoxic respiratory failure (HRF), according to a study published today in the journal Pediatrics.

The study focuses on the positive effects of inhaled nitric oxide for the treatment of HRF and reveals a rarity in today’s world of rising medical costs: a breakthrough treatment that benefits patients and is less expensive than the standard treatment.


"It’s almost unprecedented to hear of an advanced medication that actually saves money compared with an older treatment," said Derek C. Angus, M.D., the study’s lead author and director of the Clinical Research, Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. "When you are treating a critically ill baby, you want the best treatment available no matter what the cost. It’s heartening to learn that in the case of babies with hypoxic respiratory failure, we can offer state-of-the-art treatment that improves outcomes in comparison to traditional care and does so at potentially reduced costs overall."

HRF develops in newborns whose lungs cannot deliver enough oxygen to their bodies, causing them to appear bluish and endangering their lives. The condition often appears on the first day after birth, and affects about 30,000 full-term and near-term infants each year. There is no prenatal test or other way to predict which infants will develop HRF, so there is no known way to prevent the condition.

In the past, the only effective treatment for newborns with HRF who did not respond to standard care was an invasive surgical procedure known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which involves cutting a newborn’s jugular vein and putting the baby on a heart-lung machine to oxygenate the blood. Besides being invasive, the procedure has the potential to cause severe complications.

Nitric oxide, by contrast, is administered as an inhaled gas, and has few potential complications. But while hospital stays involving ECMO are reimbursed by private and government insurance plans, experts say that reimbursement for inhaled nitric oxide traditionally has been inadequate. This is based in large part on the fact that it is a newer treatment than ECMO, and thus reimbursement policies have not "caught up" to the fact that the therapy is now more widely used.

"Many therapies and life-saving equipment readily accepted by society are quite costly," said Maria Hardin, vice president of patient services for the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). "Perhaps now that we have hard data on the cost savings this treatment provides, insurers will do a better job of covering it."

Key Study Findings

The new study shows that inhaled nitric oxide actually saves a significant amount of money when compared with the older and more invasive ECMO procedure:


For every 100 newborns with HRF, treatment with inhaled nitric oxide resulted in a cost savings of more than $440,000. This savings occurred among newborns who did not need to be transferred to another hospital for ECMO treatment.
Much of the cost savings stems from the avoidance of ECMO, a costly surgical procedure.
Treating newborns with inhaled nitric oxide at local hospitals (rather than higher-level hospitals that also provide ECMO) was most cost-effective, because when the treatment prevented the need for ECMO, it also prevented the cost of transferring the baby to the ECMO center.
Using the data from two randomized controlled trials and other real-life experiences with ECMO and inhaled nitric oxide, researchers at The University of Pittsburgh’s CRISMA laboratory developed a cost-effectiveness model that estimated treatment outcomes and costs associated with treatment and recovery. The researchers looked at two scenarios: a "base case" where babies were transferred to advanced-care hospitals where ECMO was available, and a "reference case," where nitric oxide therapy was administered at local hospitals. Both scenarios suggested that nitric oxide therapy was cheaper and more effective than ECMO. The base case study showed a savings of $1,880 per case, while the reference case showed an even higher savings – $4,400 per case.

"We now have strong evidence that I think will surprise many physicians and hospitals," Dr. Angus said. "Hopefully, this will encourage everyone to take a new look at just how important this therapy is."

In December 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nitric oxide for inhalation (marketed under the trade name INOmax®) used in conjunction with ventilatory support and other appropriate agents, for the treatment of term and near-term (>34 weeks) neonates with HRF associated with clinical or echocardiographic evidence of pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs). The drug works by relaxing smooth-muscle cells in blood-vessel walls in the lungs, allowing the lungs to properly oxygenate the blood and provide it to the rest of the body. As with all pharmaceuticals, inhaled nitric oxide has side effects. The treating physician needs to assess the risk versus the benefit for the individual patient. This study was supported in part by a grant from INO Therapeutics, Inc., which manufactures INOmax®.

Todd Ringler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.edelman.com/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>