The cost of inpatient burn management in Nepal

Ak Narayan Poudel, Patricia Price, Julia Lowin, Rojina Shilpakar, Kiran Nakarmi, Tom Potokar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The management of burns is costly and complex with inpatient burns accounting for a high proportion of the costs associated with burn care. We conducted a study to estimate the cost of inpatient burn management in Nepal. Our objectives were to identify the resource and cost components of the inpatient burn care pathways and to estimate direct and overhead costs in two specialist burn units in tertiary hospitals in Nepal. Methods: We conducted fieldwork at two tertiary hospitals to identify the cost of burns management in a specialist setting. Data were collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs) with burn experts; unit cost data was collected from hospital finance departments, laboratories and pharmacies. The study focused on acute inpatient burn cases admitted to specialist burn centres within a hospital-setting. Results: Experts divided inpatient burn care pathways into three categories: superficial partial-thickness burns (SPT), mixed depth partial-thickness burns (MDPT) and full thickness burns (FT). These pathways were confirmed in the FGDs. A ‘typical’ burns patient was identified for each pathway. Total resource use and total direct costs along with overhead costs were estimated for acute inpatient burn patients. The average per patient pathway costs were estimated at NRs 102,194 (US$ 896.4), NRs 196,666 (US$ 1725), NRs 481,951 (US$ 4,227.6) for SPT, MDPT and FT patients respectively. The largest cost contributors were surgery, dressings and bed charges respectively. Conclusion: This study is a first step towards a comprehensive estimate of the costs of severe burns in Nepal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1675-1682
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Early online date11 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


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