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Hospital DKA treatment cost tops £2,000

By Editor
7th September 2017

Treating diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in the UK costs more than £2,000 per episode, according to a national survey. 

DKA is a commonly encountered metabolic emergency, but the costs of treating the condition had previously been unknown, which is why the research was carried out.

The team, led by Dr Ketan Dhatariya, consultant in diabetes, endocrinology and general medicine at the Elsie Bertram Diabetes Centre, used individual patient data from a 2014 national survey carried out to look at the management of the condition in adults.

By using the individual patient data and the Joint British Diabetes Societies Inpatient Care Group guidelines, the average cost for an episode of DKA was £2,064 per person.

The researchers said: “We used a ‘bottom up’ approach to cost analysis to determine the total expense associated with treating diabetic ketoacidosis in a mixed population sample. The data was derived from the source data from the national UK survey of 283 individual patients collected via questionnaires sent to hospitals across the country.”

They found that despite relatively short stays in hospital, costs for managing episodes of DKA in adults were
“relatively high”.

Assumptions made in the calculations did not consider prolonged hospital stay due to comorbidities or costs incurred as a loss of productivity, this is because it was not designed to collect economic information. Therefore, the actual costs to the healthcare system and society in general are likely to be “substantially higher”.

Several assumptions were made in order to work out the average costs, so the researchers based their calculations on the mean and median time in hospital as 5.6 and 2.7 days respectively.

To read the research, click here.

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