Cost-effectiveness of Project ADAM: a project to prevent sudden cardiac death in high school students

Pediatr Cardiol. 2004 Nov-Dec;25(6):660-7. doi: 10.1007/s00246-003-0668-z.


Public access defibrillation (PAD) in the adult population is thought to be both efficacious and cost-effective. Similar programs aimed at children and adolescents have not been evaluated for their cost-effectiveness. This study evaluates the potential cost-effectiveness of implementing Project ADAM, a program targeting children and adolescents in high schools in the Milwaukee Public School System. Project ADAM provides education about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the warning signs of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and training in the use and placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in high schools. We developed decision analysis models to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the decision to implement Project ADAM in public high schools in Milwaukee. We examined clinical model and public policy applications. Data on costs included estimates of hospital-based charges derived from a pediatric medical center where a series of patients were treated for SCD, educational programming, and the direct costs of one AED and training for 15 personnel per school. We performed sensitivity analyses to assess the variation in outputs with respect to changes to input data. The main outcome measures were Life years saved and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. At an arbitrary societal willingness to pay $100,000 per life year saved, the policy to implement Project ADAM in schools is a cost-effective strategy at a threshold of approximately 5 patients over 5 years for the clinical model and approximately 8 patients over 5 years for the public policy model. Implementation of Project ADAM in high schools in the United States is potentially associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio that is favorable.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control*
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Decision Trees*
  • Defibrillators / economics*
  • Humans
  • Program Development / economics*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Policy
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United States
  • Wisconsin