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Table 4 Estimated annual costs for injecting drug users (IDUs) in England seeking healthcare for injection site infections.

From: Frequency, factors and costs associated with injection site infections: Findings from a national multi-site survey of injecting drug users in England

  Estimated costs in 1,000 pounds sterling (£)
  Low unit costs† High unit costs†
Estimated number of IDUs in England 140,000* 215,000** 140,000* 215,000**
Estimated cost of GP consultations 191 293 265 406
Estimated cost of A&E visits 1,587 2,437 2,037 3,129
Estimated cost of hospital bed days 17,442 26,786 28,750 44,151
Total 19,220 29,516 30,527 46,881
  1. * Low estimate of number of IDUs is the number of heroin or crack-cocaine injectors, form a study aiming to estimate the total number of heroin and crack-cocaine users [24].
  2. ** High estimate of number of IDUs is the estimated number of IDUs (all drugs) obtained from a study using an evidence synthesis method to estimate number of injecting drug users [25].
  3. † Low and High Unit costs based on Unit Costs of Health and Social Care 2006 [22] and NHS cost database [21]. Unit cost GP consultation: Low £18 & High £25 [22]. Average Unit cost for a lower cost investigation at Accident and Emergency (Emergency Department): Low £67, & High £86 [22, 21]. Average Unit costs per hospital stay were based on the low and high average cost for non-elective adult acute care in a hospital for a skin infection from NHS cost database [21], Alternative estimates are produced using daily unit costs and assuming they stay in hospital for 2 or 4 days [4, 8, 23]