Enhanced recovery after surgery protocols increasingly use multimodal analgesia after major surgeries with intravenous acetaminophen and ketorolac, despite no documented cost-effectiveness of these strategies.
The goal of this prospective cohort study was to model cost-effectiveness of adding acetaminophen or acetaminophen + ketorolac to opioids for postoperative outcomes in children having scoliosis surgery.
Of 106 postsurgical children, 36 received only opioids, 26 received intravenous acetaminophen, and 44 received acetaminophen + ketorolac as analgesia adjuncts. Costs were calculated in 2015 US $. Decision analytic model was constructed with Decision Maker® software. Base-case and sensitivity analyses were performed with effectiveness defined as avoidance of opioid adverse effects.
The groups were comparable demographically. Compared with opioids-only strategy, subjects in the intravenous acetaminophen + ketorolac strategy consumed less opioids (P = .002; difference in mean morphine consumption on postoperative days 1 and 2 was −0.44 mg/kg (95% CI −0.72 to −0.16); tolerated meals earlier (P < .001; RR 0.250 (0.112-0.556)) and had less constipation (P < .001; RR 0.226 (0.094-0.546)). Base-case analysis showed that of the 3 strategies, use of opioids alone is both most costly and least effective, opioids + intravenous acetaminophen is intermediate in both cost and effectiveness; and opioids + intravenous acetaminophen and ketorolac is the least expensive and most effective strategy. The addition of intravenous acetaminophen with or without ketorolac to an opioid-only strategy saves $510-$947 per patient undergoing spine surgery and decreases opioid side effects.
Intravenous acetaminophen with or without ketorolac reduced opioid consumption, opioid-related adverse effects, length of stay, and thereby cost of care following idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents compared with opioids-alone postoperative analgesia strategy.
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