The optimal concentration of mafenide acetate solution for use in the treatment of burns is unknown. Despite data supporting the use of a 2.5% solution, 5% formulation is traditionally used, and has been the highest-costing medication on formulary. The aim of the current study is to evaluate cost and patient outcomes associated with a new policy implementing the use of 2.5% solution in burn patients and restricting the 5% formulation to specific indications only. A retrospective review of all patients receiving mafenide acetate solution at a single pediatric burn hospital was performed before and after the initiation of the new policy on the use of 5 vs 2.5% solution. Duration of therapy, adverse events, cost, incidence of wound infection, and bacteremia were analyzed. In 2009, 69 patients were treated with 5% mafenide acetate solution for a total cost of $125,000 ($1811 per patient). In 2010, after the initiation of the policy, 48 patients were treated: 19 received 5% mafenide acetate solution with appropriate indication, whereas the remaining 29 received 2.5% solution for a total cost of $38,632 ($804 per patient). There were no significant changes in the incidence of bacteremia or wound infection. No side effects of either solution were noted. Under certain conditions, a 2.5% mafenide acetate solution appears sufficient. In this multinational pediatric burn hospital, the use of a 2.5% solution was not associated with increased bacteremia or wound infection, and proved to be more cost-effective.
From the *Department of Surgery, Division of Burns, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Shriners Hospital, Boston; and †Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Address correspondence to Jeremy Goverman, MD, FACS, Massachusetts General Hospital, Division of Burns and Shriners Hospital, GRB-13-1302, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, Massachusetts.