Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) infections are a significant cause of morbidity among neurosurgical patients and have been correlated with increased length of hospital stay and longer requirements for intensive care. To date, no studies have examined the financial impact of EVD infections. Methods: Patients who underwent EVD placement between December 2010 and January 2016 were included in the study. Clinical records were retrospectively reviewed and health care cost data were obtained from the hospital's finance department. Clinical information included patient demographics, details from the hospital course, and outcomes. Total costs, direct/indirect, and fixed/variable costs were analyzed for every patient. Results: Over the 5-year study period, 246 EVDs were placed in 243 patients with an overall infection rate of 9.9% (N = 24). The median EVD duration for infected versus noninfected patients was 19 and 9 days, respectively (P < 0.0001). Median length of intensive care unit stay also was increased for patients with EVD infection (30 days vs. 13 days, P < 0.0001). Total health care costs were significantly greater for infected patients (US$ 168,692 vs. US$ 83,919, P < 0.0001). This trend was comparable for all other cost subtypes, including fixed-direct costs, fixed-indirect costs, variable direct costs, and variable-indirect costs. Conclusions: EVD infection has a substantial effect on clinical morbidity and healthcare costs. These results demonstrate the imperative need to improve EVD infection prevention, particularly in the setting of a value-based health care system.
- Central nervous system infection
- External ventricular drain infection
- Health care cost
- Health care disparity
- Health care quality assessment