Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anti-vomiting drug could prevent thousands of hospitalizations, save millions of dollars

Date:
October 15, 2010
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
An economic analysis concludes that routinely giving ondansetron to children with gastroenteritis-induced vomiting would prevent thousands of hospitalizations and save millions of dollars each year.

Two years ago, a study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers found that an anti-vomiting drug called ondansetron helps reduce vomiting, the need for intravenous fluids and hospital admissions in children with acute gastroenteritis.

Related Articles


Now a new economic analysis led by Canadian researchers, in collaboration with Michael J. Steiner, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UNC, concludes that routinely giving ondansetron to children with gastroenteritis-induced vomiting would prevent thousands of hospitalizations and save millions of dollars each year.

"In the past, people always thought that ondansetron was so expensive that its use 'wasn't worth it.' Our findings challenge that belief and may change clinician decision-making as well as practice guidelines," Steiner said.

The new study was published online by the journal PLoS Medicine. The lead author is Stephen B. Freedman, MDCM, a pediatric emergency physician at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto. Co-authors are Steiner and Kevin J. Chan, MD, also a pediatric emergency physician at SickKids.

"This study is the first to demonstrate that in addition to being clinically beneficial, the administration of oral ondansetron to children with dehydration and persistent vomiting secondary to gastroenteritis, is economically advantageous, making it a dominant treatment strategy," Freedman said.

Gastroenteritis is an infection, often caused by a virus, that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It is popularly called "stomach flu" and is a very common ailment in children during the winter months. Persistent vomiting from acute gastroenteritis can be very frightening to children and their families and also poses a risk of dehydration.

In many cases gastroenteritis in children can be managed effectively with oral fluids, including oral rehydration therapy, but some cases are severe enough to require hospital admission for intravenous fluids. However, current practice guidelines do not recommend the use of ondansetron, in part because there was a lack of clear evidence that the treatment is cost effective.

To answer this question, study authors used a type of statistical analysis, called decision tree analysis, to compare the costs of treatment in the hospital emergency department setting both with and without ondansetron. Due to significant price differences between the U.S. and Canada, they conducted a separate analysis for each country.

They concluded that giving ondansetron to eligible children in the U.S. would prevent 29,246 intravenous insertions and 7,220 hospitalizations each year, with annual savings of $65.6 million to society and $61.1 million to payers of health care costs (including private insurance providers and Medicare and Medicaid). In Canada, the study concluded, ondansetron given routinely would prevent 4,065 intravenous insertions and 1,003 hospitalizations each year, with annual savings of $1.72 million (in Canadian dollars) to society and $1.18 million to payers of health care costs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Stephen B. Freedman, Michael J. Steiner, Kevin J. Chan. Oral Ondansetron Administration in Emergency Departments to Children with Gastroenteritis: An Economic Analysis. PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7 (10): e1000350 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000350

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Anti-vomiting drug could prevent thousands of hospitalizations, save millions of dollars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173214.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2010, October 15). Anti-vomiting drug could prevent thousands of hospitalizations, save millions of dollars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173214.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Anti-vomiting drug could prevent thousands of hospitalizations, save millions of dollars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173214.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here&apos;s what&apos;s different about this vaccine. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins