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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2000 February;13(1):63-6

language: English

Cost-effectiveness of an external central venous catheter. Evaluation of 50 patients with solid tumors in an oncologic unit

Torresi U., Musolino G., Scoponi C. A.


Background. To evaluate the costs and benefits of our external central venous catheter for cancer patients in comparison with the results of the literature.
Methods. A series is reported of 50 consecutive patients affected by solid tumors in which the insertion of an external single-lumen nontunneled catheter was performed before the starting of a treatment consisting of continuous or intermittent chemotherapy.
Results. The procedure was quick and safe and the compliance of the patients was good because of a minimal negative impact on the quality of life. Complications were acceptable: 4 infections (i.e. 0.47 episodes/1,000 catheter days, similar to that of a more expensive subcutaneous port), 1 occlusion and 2 dislodgements in patients treated by intermittent chemotherapy; adverse events were quite absent in cases undergoing continuous infusion chemotherapy.
Conclusions. Considering the resources of our Center and the lower (twentyfold or more) purchase cost of the catheter utilized, in comparison with tunneled catheters or totally implantable ports, our choice seems to have a good cost/effectiveness ratio.

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