Cost of care in a paediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary-care university hospital of Pakistan

Document Type



Internal Medicine


Objective: To assess the cost of treatment for families of children hospitalised in paediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary care teaching hospital.Methods: The retrospective cohort study was conducted in Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and comprised record of all children admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit from January 1 to June 30, 2013. Demographic data, diagnosis at the time of admission, co-morbidity, length of stay in intensive care and outcome were recorded. The record of all hospital charges for each day the patient was cared for were also recorded. The finance department itemised the cost into major categories like pharmacy, radiology, laboratory, etc. SPSS 19 was used for statistical analysis.Results: Record of 148 patients represented the study sample. Of them, 98(66%) were males. Overall median age was 2.7 yrs (interquartile range: 1 month to 16 years) and 93(62.8%) were below 5 years of age. Median length of stay was 3.5 days (range: 2-5 days) and total patient days in intensive care were 622. The median cost per admission was PKR 217,238 (range: (114,550-368,808) and mean cost per day was PKR 57,535 (43,911-85,527). The major cost distributions were bed charges PKR 8,092,080 (18.02%), physician charges PKR 6,398653(14.25%), medical-surgical supplies PKR 8,000772(17.8%), laboratory charges PKR 8,403,615(18.9%) and pharmacy charges PKR 5,852.226(13.03%).CONCLUSIONS: The cost of paediatric intensive care unit was expensive. Cost distribution was almost evenly distributed. Hence, a better admission policy is needed for resource utilisation and cost-effectiveness.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association