Transfusion Preparedness Strategies for Obstetric Hemorrhage: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

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To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of common obstetric transfusion preparedness strategies to prevent emergency-release transfusions.


A decision analytic model compared five commonly used transfusion preparedness strategies in a general obstetric population. Patients were classified as being at low, moderate, or high risk for transfusion. The most prepared strategy used a policy of universal type and screen plus crossmatch for high-risk patients. Other strategies used universal type and screen only, universal hold clot plus crossmatch for high-risk patients, selective type and screen only in high-risk patients, or no routine admission testing. Strategies were compared using transfusion-related cost and probability estimates derived from patient-level data and from the published literature. The primary outcome was incremental cost per emergency-release transfusion prevented. A strategy was considered cost-effective if the cost was less than $1,500 per emergency-release transfusion avoided as determined by expert consensus. Emergency-release transfusion included universal donor or type-specific packed red cells that are not crossmatched to the recipient. Along with the base-case analyses, we also conducted one- and two-way sensitivity analyses and probabilistic sensitivity analyses using second-order Monte Carlo simulation. Variability in the willingness-to-pay threshold was explored in a cost-effectiveness acceptability analysis. The model was conducted from a hospital perspective.


In the base-case analysis, the strategy of universal type and screen with crossmatch for high-risk patients yielded an incremental cost of $115,541 per emergency-release transfusion prevented compared with a strategy of universal hold clot. The universal hold clot strategy yielded a cost of $2,878 per emergency-release transfusion prevented compared with a strategy of no routine admission testing. Strategies using universal type and screen were cost-effective in zero of the 10,000 simulations at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $1,500 per emergency-release transfusion prevented. Even at willingness to pay greater than $10,000 to prevent an emergency-release transfusion, universal type and screen strategies were not cost-effective.


Transfusion preparedness with universal type and screen is not cost-effective in a general obstetric population across a wide range of assumptions and variable ranges.

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