Air leaks after pulmonary surgery or pulmonary injury is a complication that extends duration of hospitalization and often requires the use of chest tubes. The average cost of a hospital day is $11,700, and occurrence of pleural air leaks can double that. Furthermore, postoperative chest tubes are painful and distressing for patients and are associated with higher risks of infection and mortality; it is the number one patient complaint (>80%) after thoracic surgery.
The cost of “prolonged” air leaks (more than 7 days) annually to the U.S. health care system is estimated at $300 million. Additionally, prolonged air leaks increase the rate of readmission within 30 days by 20%. In a study of pleurectomy patients at the Brigham, it was found that a 50% improvement in air leak control would have saved the hospital more than $1 million.
The use of Glycopatch technology will reduce hospital length of stay and could even convert certain thoracic surgeries to outpatient procedures. Reduced incidence of pleural air leaks offers the benefits of reduced morbidity, fewer post-surgical complication, and reduced need for chest tubes. Glycopatch offers a cost-effective adhesive and sealant solution to pleural air leaks that improves patient outcomes and productivity.