Volume 14 Supplement 1
Cost-effectiveness of a rapid and accurate test for diagnosing infection in severe sepsis and septic shock patients
© BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 1 March 2010
Prompt and accurate pathogen identification is crucial for treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock (SS/SS). Blood cultures (BC) require 24 to 48 hours and often yield inaccurate results. Effective pathogen identification allows for timely, targeted antimicrobial therapy.
A SS/SS Markov model  was developed to assess the cost-effectiveness (CE) of a rapid and accurate diagnostic test compared with the current standard. In the model, patients can transition between no SIRS, SIRS, sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock or exit the model via discharge or death. Key literature assumptions are as follows: 91% effectiveness of empiric therapy, 70% BC effectiveness, 90% new test effectiveness, $750 cost/test, 9.5 years average life expectancy of sepsis survivor, 0.69 quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) for survivors, and turnaround times of 24 hours for the new test and 48 hours for standard BC.
Preliminary results show that a rapid and accurate test would be considered cost-effective across many assumptions and would reduce the mortality associated with delayed diagnosis.