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Wednesday 01 November 2000

Cost comparison of bronchodilator delivery methods in Emergency Department treatment of asthma.

By: Frei SP.

J Emerg Med 2000 Nov;19(4):323-6

Various methods of bronchodilator delivery are used in the Emergency Department, with similar efficacy. Our goal was to compare the costs of intermittent updraft nebulization, continuous nebulization, and metered-dose inhaler with spacer. Comparison was made for an average 1-h treatment. Material costs to the hospital were ascertained, and labor costs were estimated from salary and time studies in our urban community hospital. In this setting, the total cost for intermittent updraft nebulization was $11.66 for 1 h (three treatments). Cost for continuous nebulization was $9.66. Metered-dose inhaler with spacer had a cost of $15.45 for 1 h (three treatments). For the Emergency Department treatment of asthma, continuous nebulization may be a less costly method of bronchodilator delivery.

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