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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versão On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versão impressa ISSN 0256-9574


NAUDE, L; BALENDA, G  e  LOMBAARD, A. Autologous whole blood clot and negative-pressure wound therapy in South Africa: A comparison of the cost and social considerations. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2022, vol.112, n.10, pp.800-805. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Advanced wound treatment modalities enhance healing of hard-to-heal wounds, decrease the risk of amputations, and improve the quality of life of patients. Modalities have different rates of efficacy and incur different social and financial costs to the individual and the healthcare system. Two such modalities, the autologous whole blood clot (WBC) and negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT), were compared in the South African (SA) context. The comparison was conducted on hard-to-heal wounds, with a specific focus on diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs OBJECTIVES: To compare the social considerations and financial costs of using autologous WBC v. NPWT in the treatment of DFUs in SA METHODS: Data were obtained based on current supply costs from SA suppliers for the two modalities, the standard of care for both modalities, the number of applications required for each, and social considerations provided by SA wound management clinicians. Wound healing rates were obtained from the published literature. This information was used to calculate costs of two scenarios (scenario 1: low exudate v. scenario 2: high exudate), which were compared over two treatment durations (4 and 12 weeks) for each treatment modality. Calculations included weekly cost of supplies, total cost saved by a patient with a DFU managed with either of the wound therapies, and the difference in total cost saved between the two modalities. Key social considerations were assessed qualitatively from discussions with SA clinicians experienced in both autologous WBC and NPWT, and from published research RESULTS: The cost of supplies per week was ZAR3 250 for autologous WBC and ZAR4 804 for NPWT in scenario 1, and ZAR3 332 and ZAR6 612 in scenario 2. With healing rates over 4 weeks' treatment duration of 19% for autologous WBC and 10% for NPWT, autologous WBC saved ZAR17 719.93, or 9% more than using NPWT, in scenario 1 and ZAR18 381.47, or 10% more, in scenario 2. At 12 weeks' treatment duration, healing rates for autologous WBC and NPWT were 75% and 43%, respectively. In scenario 1, results indicated a 43% cost difference between the two modalities. Autologous WBC had a total cost saving of ZAR61 874.40 compared with NPWT over a period of 12 weeks. In scenario 2, results indicated a 46% cost difference between the two modalities. Autologous WBC had a total cost saving of ZAR70 454.68 compared with NPWT over a period of 12 weeks. One of the identified social considerations is that NPWT needs a reliable supply of electricity to recharge the pump, while autologous WBC does not CONCLUSION: Both modalities are safe and effective in treating hard-to-heal wounds of the lower extremities. Autologous WBC consistently demonstrated better outcomes than NPWT in terms of both healing rate and cost-effectiveness, as well as having some advantages in terms of social considerations in SA

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