New Study Finds Postoperative Respiratory Depression Associated with Increased Hospital Charges

A poster of this study will be displayed at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 22nd Annual International Meeting on Tuesday, May 23 from 8 am to 2 pm.

SAN DIEGO – May 23, 2017 – An abstract and poster presented by CogenDx, which offers genetic testing to identify how a patients’ genetic profile may impact his or her response to certain medications, details the results from a recent study into the occurrence of postoperative respiratory depression after inpatient surgery. The study of 17,727 patients found that 4 percent of patients undergoing inpatient surgery experienced postoperative respiratory depression, and the average hospital charges for these patients were $9,180 higher than similar patients who did not experience such respiratory depression.

“The occurrence of respiratory depression can have significant clinical consequences and, if not addressed in a timely manner, can result in unwanted outcomes, including severe brain damage and mortality,” said Rami Ben-Joseph, PhD, senior vice president, health outcomes research, CogenDx. “Our study highlights the economic consequences of postoperative respiratory depression.”

The study, which utilized billing data from the QuintilesIMS Hospital Charge Data Master database, identified the incidence of postoperative respiratory depression events by recording the occurrence of hospital charges for drugs/procedures used to treat or diagnose respiratory depression (e.g. re-intubation, hypoxia diagnosis, naloxone administration). Propensity score matching was used to reduce bias that may occur due to the lack of randomization.

“Several factors may contribute to the occurrence of postoperative respiratory depression. One factor that hasn’t been fully examined is the role of genetics in the observed variations in responses to perioperative medications,” explained Dr. Ben-Joseph. “Several studies have shown that certain side effects from perioperative drugs may be associated with genetic variation. And as such, pharmacogenetics may be able to help clinicians optimize medication selection and dosing in order to minimize a patient’s risk of experiencing respiratory depression.”


Jody Schneider
(858) 217-1159