Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT): is it safe for selected patients to self-administer at home? A retrospective analysis of a large cohort over 13 years

Philippa C Matthews, Christopher P Conlon, Anthony R Berendt, Jill Kayley, Lorrayne Jefferies, Bridget L Atkins, Ivor Byren
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 2007, 60 (2): 356-62

OBJECTIVES: Provision of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) is an evolving field, facilitating discharge from hospital for selected patients with serious infections. We report on a large OPAT cohort focusing on the practice of supervised parenteral antibiotic administration in the community by patients and relatives, which we collectively term 'self-administration'. To distinguish between healthcare professional OPAT and self-administered OPAT, we have coined the terms H-OPAT and S-OPAT, respectively.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analysed data on 2059 OPAT episodes collected prospectively over a 13 year time period from 1993 to 2005.

RESULTS: Clinical diagnosis, microbiology and antibiotics in this OPAT series are comparable to those previously reported. We identified no excess complications or hospital re-admissions in the S-OPAT group compared with the H-OPAT group.

CONCLUSIONS: Self-administration of intravenous antimicrobial therapy, in selected patients under the supervision of a specialist team, is a safe and feasible strategy.

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