The cost of treating diabetic ketoacidosis in the UK: a national survey of hospital resource use

Ketan Dhatariya (Lead Author), Christopher Skedgel, Richard Fordham

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30 Citations (Scopus)
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Aims: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a commonly encountered metabolic
emergency. In 2014 a national survey was conducted looking at the
management of DKA in adult patients across the UK. The survey reported the
clinical management of individual patients as well as institutional factors that
teams felt were important in helping to deliver that care. However, costs of
treating DKA were not reported.

Methods: We used a ‘bottom up’ approach to cost analysis to determine the total
expense associated with treating DKA in a mixed population sample. The data
were derived from the source data from the national UK survey of 283
individual patients collected via questionnaires sent to hospitals across the

Results: Because the initial survey collection tool was not designed with a health
economic model in mind, several assumptions were made when analysing the
data. The mean and median time in hospital was 5.6 and 2.7 days,
respectively. Based on the individual patient data and using the Joint British
Diabetes Societies Inpatient Care Group guidelines, the cost analysis shows
that for this cohort, the average cost for an episode of DKA was £2064 per
patient (95% CI: £1800, 2563).

Conclusion: Despite relatively short stays in hospital, costs for managing episodes of DKA in adults were relatively high. Assumptions made in calculations did not take into account prolonged hospital stay due to co-morbidities nor costs incurred as a loss of productivity. Therefore the actual costs to the healthcare system and society in general are likely to be substantially higher.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361–1366
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number10
Early online date20 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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