A proposed model for the cost of cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Mark H. Ebell, James A. Kruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is associated with substantial costs beyond those of the resuscitation itself. These costs are important to understand because health care resources are limited. To that end, a model of CPR is proposed, including an examination of the effect of several variables on the cost per patient surviving to discharge. The cost of CPR was estimated using a model that describes the CPR process as a series of decision points, each with an associated survival rate and cost. Sensitivity analyses were performed for critical variables to examine their effect on cost. The cost per patient surviving to discharge increases exponentially as the rate of survival to discharge decreases. This cost was $117,000 for a rate of survival to discharge of 10%, $248,271 for a rate of 1%, and $544,521 for a rate of 0.2%. Analysis of the model shows that health care costs related to CPR could be reduced most by decreasing the hospital length of stay and charges for patients who survive the initial resuscitation event, by increases in the overall survival rate, and by the prospective stratification of hospitalized patients according to their anticipated response to resuscitation efforts. The model allows the marginal cost-effectiveness of CPR to be quantitatively evaluated relative to survival rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-649
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Econometric
  • Economic value of life
  • Models
  • Outcome assessment (health care)
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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