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Prenatal diagnosis of critical CHDs and planned peripartum care is an emerging concept in resource-limited settings.
To report the impact of prenatal diagnosis and planned peripartum care on costs of neonatal cardiac care in a resource-limited setting.
Prospective study (October 2019 to October 2020). Consecutive neonates undergoing surgery or catheter-based interventions included. Patients were divided into prenatal (prenatal diagnosis) and post-natal (diagnosis after birth) groups. Costs of cardiac care (total, direct, and indirect) and health expenses to income ratio were compared between study groups; factors impacting costs were analysed.
A total of 105 neonates were included, including 33 in prenatal group. Seventy-seven neonates (73.3%) underwent surgical procedures while the rest needed catheter-based interventions. Total costs were 16.2% lower in the prenatal group (p = 0.008). Direct costs were significantly lower in the prenatal group (18%; p = 0.02), especially in neonates undergoing surgery (20.4% lower; p = 0.001). Health expenses to income ratio was also significantly lower in the prenatal group (2.04 (1.03–2.66) versus post-natal:2.58 (1.55–5.63), p = 0.01);, particularly in patients undergoing surgery (prenatal: 1.58 (1.03–2.66) vs. post-natal: 2.99 (1.91–6.02); p = 0.002). Prenatal diagnosis emerged as the only modifiable factor impacting costs on multivariate analysis.
Prenatal diagnosis and planned peripartum care of critical CHD is feasible in resource-limited settings and is associated with significantly lower costs of neonatal cardiac care. The dual benefit of improved clinical outcomes and lower costs of cardiac care should encourage policymakers in resource-limited settings towards developing more prenatal cardiac services.
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