The potential impact from preventing avoidable intravenous drip use
The true total cost to the NHS of one preventable intravenous drip is likely to be around £1000, please see below and opposite for more detail.
If a patient’s condition has deteriorated to the point of needing a drip to rehydrate then there is likely to be an increase in length of stay associated with this deterioration. At least one day and more likely considerably longer. Anything from £400 - £1500 per day.
The number of people and processes involved in setting up just one drip is considerable: It has to be prescribed by a doctor/prescribing professional; the supply chain has to be activated to get all of the various bits and pieces to the bed; a drip stand and drip pump have to be found; a qualified member of staff has to be found to set the system up; the fluid bag has to be changed at regular intervals.
Cost of these processes per drip could be £50-100.
There is now a substantial increase in the risk of infection for this patient due to a new intervention. Cost of an infection if this happens? - High.
There is also a dramatic deterioration in patient experience as a result of this PREVENTABLE occurrence.
The potential reductions in material cost and plastic use
The pictures below set out the stark differences in material cost and plastic use when just one I/V drip is prevented by using The Water-Drop as an early intervention in preventing dehydration:
- The Water-Drop
- Cost = £3.50 - £4.00
- Plastic used: 90 grammes
- 24 hour I/V drip
- Cost for all of the various
components = £18.00 - £20.00
- Plastic used: 300 grammes
- Non-recyclable as contaminated
Potential reductions for each 24 hour period
Material costs reduced by up to 80%
Plastic use reduced by up to 70%