Mechanically assisted ventilation is frequently used, but there are little data regarding cost and long-term outcome. Therefore, all patients who required mechanical ventilation for 48 hours or more were studied, their hospitalization charges analyzed, and the survivors observed for two years after discharge. The mean charge for the hospitalization was $12,300, compared with $1,600 for all other hospitalized patients. Although the overall mortality at discharge was 56%, the patients with pulmonary disease had the lowest mortality (29%) with the lowest cost at time of discharge. The mortality for the postoperative and miscellaneous medical group of patients demonstrated no significant increase during the period following discharge, unlike the cardiac and pulmonary groups, whose mortality increased each year of follow-up. Hospitalization for these patients was eight times as costly as for all other hospitalized patients during the same 12 months, with a two-year mortality of 72%.
(JAMA 243:43-45, 1980)