Background: Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is commonly used to manage complex wounds in the pediatric population. With recently developed portable NPWT devices, providers have the opportunity to transition NPWT to the outpatient setting. However, there are no studies describing outpatient NPWT in pediatric patients. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to leverage a population-level analysis to advance our current knowledge about outpatient NPWT use in pediatric patients.
Materials and methods: We analyzed the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims Database from 2006 to 2014 to identify children treated with NPWT. We compared patient characteristics, indications, complications before and after NPWT, health care utilization within 30 d of NPWT initiation, and health care cost profile of patients treated with NPWT primarily as outpatients versus inpatients. Outpatient NPWT was defined as patients with ≤50% of NPWT coded during an inpatient hospitalization, whereas inpatient NPWT was defined as patients with >50% of NPWT.
Results: We identified 3184 patients (1621 inpatients and 1563 outpatients) aged 0-17 y, who were treated with NPWT from 2006 to 2014. Outpatient NPWT was implemented across multiple ages, comorbidities, and indications, with a low complication rate (2.4%). After controlling for hematologic comorbidity and indications, outpatient NPWT was associated with lower risk of complications (odds ratio: 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.38-0.86) and lower median total costs ($5602.03) compared with inpatient ($15,233.21) therapy.
Conclusions: Outpatient NPWT management in pediatric patients was associated with low complication rates. Additional studies are necessary to determine the most overall cost-effective treatment setting for NPWT in the pediatric population.
Keywords: Children; Infants; Inpatient; Negative pressure wound therapy; Outpatient; Vacuum-assisted closure.
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