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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


PILLAY, RC; KISTA, Y; HARDCASTLE, TC  and  MAHOMED, O. Intensive care unit hospitalisation costs associated with road traffic crashes at a central hospital in KwaZulu-Natal for the 2017/18 financial year. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2021, vol.59, n.2, pp.47-51. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: The financial and physical impacts of road traffic crashes are borne by the individual, the extended family, society, the health sector and the economy of the country. The main contributors to these costs are the loss of productivity and the accrual of ongoing healthcare costs over a long-term period. There is limited information available on the cost of admitting seriously injured patients post accidents to a central hospital intensive care unitMETHODS: Cost data was obtained from the electronic database for all patients admitted for more than 24 hours to the trauma intensive care unit at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. A mixed costing approach was used. Data was collected on surgical procedures, imaging, laboratory tests, trauma receiving fees, pharmaceuticals, goods and services and compensation of employeesRESULTS: The total cost of treating road traffic crash patients for the 2017/18 financial year equated to R21 140 475.49. The three main cost drivers comprised the compensation of employees (R12 135 848.41; 57.4%), goods and services (R5 083 182.12; 24%) and surgery costs (R1 429 321.00; 6.8%). The average cost per admission was R163 879.65, with the average cost per inpatient day equating to R12 727.56. Male patients admitted from motorcycle crashes had the highest cost per admission, followed by motor vehicle crashes and pedestrian vehicle crashesCONCLUSION: The cost and burden associated with road traffic crashes is reflective of national and international trends and will require a comprehensive strategy to reduce accidents as well as better management at the scene and at lower levels of care

Keywords : road traffic crashes; cost per admission; cost per inpatient day; trauma intensive care.

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