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Fluid overload is associated with increases in length of stay and hospital costs: pooled analysis of data from more than 600 US hospitals

Authors Magee G, Zbrozek A

Received 28 March 2013

Accepted for publication 14 May 2013

Published 26 June 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 289—296


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Glenn Magee,1 Art Zbrozek2

1Premier Research Services, Charlotte, NC, USA; 2CSL Behring, King of Prussia, PA, USA

Background: Fluid overload, including transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO), is a serious complication of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) transfusion. The incidence of fluid overload is underreported and its economic impact is unknown. An evaluation of fluid overload cases in US hospitals was performed to assess the impact of fluid overload on length and cost of hospital stay.
Study design and methods: Retrospective analysis was performed using a clinical and economic database covering >600 US hospitals. Data were collected for all inpatients discharged during 2010 who received ≥1 unit FFP during hospitalization. Incidence of fluid overload was determined through International Classification of Diagnosis (ICD-9) codes. Multivariate regression analysis was performed for primary outcome measures: hospital length of stay (LOS) and total hospital costs.
Results: Data were analyzed for 129,839 FFP-transfused patients, of whom 4,138 (3.2%) experienced fluid overload (including TACO). Multivariate analysis, adjusting for baseline characteristics, found that increased LOS and hospital costs were independently associated with fluid overload. Patients diagnosed with fluid overload had longer mean LOS (12.9 days versus 10.0 days; P < 0.001) and higher mean hospital cost per visit ($46,644 versus $32,582; P < 0.001) compared with patients without fluid overload.
Conclusion: For a population of US inpatients who received FFP during hospitalization, fluid overload was associated with a 29% increase in LOS and a $14,062 increase in hospital costs per visit. These findings suggest that the incidence of fluid overload in the general population is greater than historically reported. A substantial economic burden may be associated with fluid overload in the US.

Keywords: fresh frozen plasma, fluid overload, hospital costs, hypervolemia, length of stay, transfusion-associated circulatory overload

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