Heart, Lung and Circulation

Impact of Reducing Pre-Hospital Delay in Response to Heart Attack Symptoms in Australia

Published:August 25, 2018DOI:


      This research estimates the broader socioeconomic impacts of reducing pre-hospital delay times across Australia in patients with heart attack symptoms.


      A cost benefit analysis (CBA) was undertaken to demonstrate the costs and benefits of a public awareness/education campaign to reduce pre-hospital delay time from 5.2 hours (Base Case) to 4.1 hours (Scenario 1) and 2.0 hours (Scenario 2). All assumptions underlying the CBA are supported by academic literature.
      Financial impacts considered include campaign/public education costs, direct inpatient costs and long-term health care costs. Socioeconomic impacts considered include burden of disease, productivity losses, informal care costs and net deadweight loss.


      The campaign is expected to generate an additional net benefit of $41.2–139.1 million in comparison to the Base Case, resulting in a benefit cost ratio (BCR) of 3.23–5.06. Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) reduced by 6,046-7,575 years.


      This research illustrates that an investment in public awareness/education campaign can generate considerable benefits, more than offsetting the costs associated with the campaign and keeping people living longer such as ongoing health care costs. However, significant effort, supplementary strategies and sustained investment will be required to ensure the impact and benefit is sustained over the long term.


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