[Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) in bone and joint infections]

T Galpérine, F Ader, P Piriou, T Judet, C Perronne, L Bernard
Médecine et Maladies Infectieuses 2006, 36 (3): 132-7
The medical treatment of many bone and joint infections (including chronic osteomyelitis, prosthetic joint infection, and septic arthritis) requires prolonged intravenous antimicrobial therapy. For some patients, this treatment could be administered outside the hospital in a program that offers outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT). In France, we have no registry of patients receiving OPAT. Initiation of this program requires specific criteria based on a patient evaluation and selection, and an interdisciplinary team of professionals committed to high-quality patient care. Various vascular access devices and infusion pump therapy are used to administer OPAT. The most common parenteral agents for OPAT are beta-lactams and glycopeptids (specifically vancomycin). Antimicrobial courses are stopped prematurely in 3 to 10% of the cases because of an adverse reaction or vascular access complications. Several published studies demonstrate the effectiveness of OPAT and higher patient satisfaction than hospital care. In addition, OPAT is clearly more cost-effective than intravenous therapy provided in the hospital setting. Some diagnoses, such as cellulites, community-acquired pneumonia, and endocarditis may be managed with OPAT.

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