Tranexamic acid for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage: a cost-effectiveness analysis

Dagnie C. Howard, Amy E. Jones, Ashley Skeith, Jasmine Lai, Rohan D'Souza, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Postpartum hemorrhage is a leading cause of pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality. Recent data have demonstrated that tranexamic acid reduces death because of bleeding when used as a treatment for postpartum hemorrhage. The World Health Organization now recommends tranexamic acid as a first-line treatment for postpartum hemorrhage; however, data are not yet available on the frequency of use in the United States, where tranexamic acid is currently recognized as an adjunct treatment for postpartum hemorrhage. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to strengthen the current evidence that tranexamic acid should be recognized as a first-line treatment for postpartum hemorrhage, even in high-resource countries. Furthermore, we aimed to determine whether early administration of tranexamic acid (within 3 hours of diagnosis) is a cost-effective strategy for reducing maternal morbidity and mortality from postpartum hemorrhage in the United States. STUDY DESIGN: A decision-analytical model was designed to compare the outcomes and costs of the administration of tranexamic acid in the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. Moreover, this model was used to compare outcomes for early administration with those of routine use. The interventions compared were 1 g of intravenous tranexamic acid or matching placebo. The risks analyzed in the model were death because of hemorrhage and laparotomy to control bleeding. Probabilities, utilities, and costs were derived from literature. Quality-adjusted life-years were calculated using a discounted life expectancy rate of 3%. Cost-effectiveness was determined on the basis of a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year. RESULTS: The administration of tranexamic acid to a theoretical cohort of 100,000 women would prevent 11 maternal deaths, 6 postpartum laparotomies after vaginal delivery, and 112 reoperations after cesarean delivery. This would lead to an increase in 329 quality-adjusted life years and a total cost savings of $15.39 million. Furthermore, if tranexamic acid were administered early (within 3 hours of postpartum hemorrhage diagnosis) to the same theoretical cohort, 16 maternal deaths owing to hemorrhage, 9 laparotomies, and 155 reoperations would be prevented. This amounts to an increase in 438 quality-adjusted life years and an annual cost savings of $23.15 million. A sensitivity analysis showed that the administration of tranexamic acid was the dominant strategy at all probabilities of maternal death owing to hemorrhage >0.00002. When the cost of tranexamic acid was varied, the administration of tranexamic acid remained dominant up to a cost of $267 per administration in the United States if given within the first 3 hours. Furthermore, in a Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analysis, the early administration of tranexamic acid remained the dominant strategy (both lowered costs and improved outcomes) in 99.8% of models. CONCLUSION: Early administration of tranexamic acid was a cost-effective strategy for reducing maternal morbidity and mortality owing to postpartum hemorrhage in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100588
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics & gynecology MFM
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • antifibrinolytic
  • death
  • decision analysis
  • labor and delivery
  • maternal morbidity
  • maternal mortality
  • Monte Carlo
  • prevention
  • sensitivity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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