BACKGROUND: Meningococcal meningitis (MM) is known to be responsible of high cost for the Public Health Administration. Aim of the work is to calculate the costs for the hospitalization of pediatric patients affected by MM.
METHODS: We calculate the costs for the hospitalization of pediatric patients affected by MM in the acute phase (HAP) over a nine year period. We performed a MEDLINE search to verify the cost of MM HAP reported in other studies.
RESULTS: At Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, the median cost of HAP was of 12,604 euro (range from 9203 to 35,050 euro). Comparing our data with the previous studies, we find out similar results of approximately 16,750 euro (range 12,000-20,000 euro).
DISCUSSION: Despite the relative rarety of the disease, MM is associated to direct high cost of HAP.
CONCLUSIONS: Hospital costs are an important end-point in health economic evaluation of the disease and may be useful to policy makers and health economists to understand the potential benefit of improving meningococcal vaccination programmes.