The Cost of Surgically Treated Severe Odontogenic Infections: A Retrospective Study Using Severity Scores

Timothy W. Neal, Yousef Hammad, Brian R. Carr, Thomas Schlieve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Hospital treatment of odontogenic infections can be costly, and often these infections present with varying degrees of severity that can be quantified with odontogenic infection severity scores (OISSs). The purposes of this study were (1) to measure the association between OISSs and hospital bills and (2) to identify risk factors associated with OISSs. Methods: This retrospective cohort study assessed subjects from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2020, with severe odontogenic infections treated in the operating room and admitted to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center/Parkland Memorial Hospital for >1 hospital day. OISSs were assigned based on the risk to the airway and vital structures. OISSs ≥ 5 were designated group A and < OISSs 5 group B. The primary predictor variable was OISSs, and the primary outcome variable was the mean billed cost of the stay. Analysis to identify associated variables for OISS ≥ 5 was also conducted. Secondary predictor variables were age, gender, smoking status, HIV diagnosis, diabetes mellitus diagnosis, blood glucose at admission, and white blood cell count (WBC) at admission. The secondary outcome variable was OISS. Comparisons between Group A and Group B were conducted using t-tests. Analysis to identify associated variables for OISS ≥ 5 was conducted using univariate and multivariate analysis. Values of P < .05 were considered statistically significant. Results: There were 144 subjects that met inclusion criteria. There were 65 subjects in Group A and 69 in Group B. Group A had a significantly larger mean billed cost of stay (95% CI 8937.7 to 48,225.74; P = .001). Analysis of secondary predictor variables revealed that male sex (OR 2.07; 95% CI 1.06 to 4.07; P = .03), blood glucose ≥ 100 at presentation (OR 3.05; 95% CI 1.46 to 6.38; P = .002), and WBC of > 11,000/mL at presentation (OR 3.17; 95% CI 1.44 to 6.98; P = .003) resulted in an increased likelihood of OISS ≥ 5. Conclusions: Patients with OISSs ≥ 5 have higher mean billed costs when compared to patients with OISSs < 5. Male sex, blood glucose ≥ 100, and WBC >11,000/mL at presentation is associated with increased likelihood of OISS >5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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