Costs of medical resource use associated with complications of IV drug therapy

Michael T. Halpern, K. Robin Yabroff, Edward P. Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite clinical documentation of adverse consequences and increased use of medical procedures due to IV drug administration, evaluation of these complications' effect on health resource use has been limited. We used data from the 1990 National Hospital Discharge Survey in a case-control study design to examine the relation between infectious and vascular complications of IV drug therapy and such measures as length of hospital stay, destination following discharge, and incidence of associated procedures and diagnoses. Patients with IV complications were hospitalized 4 days longer than controls (p < 0.0001) and were 2.6 times as likely to have a complication-related diagnosis or procedure (p < 0.001); the increase in hospital stays resulted in a $4,100-per-patient increase in health care costs. These differences and the resulting costs were especially pronounced in patients with infectious IV complications. We conclude that avoiding IV complications significantly reduces medical costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)944-959
Number of pages16
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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