[Specialized home care for infectious disease. Experience from 1995 to 2002]

Juan Pablo Horcajada, Laura García, Natividad Benito, Carlos Cervera, Marta Sala, Angels Olivera, Alex Soriano, Marga Robau, José M Gatell, José M Miró
Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica 2007, 25 (7): 429-36

OBJECTIVE: In 1995 a specialized home care service for infectious diseases was created in our institution. The aim was to improve the quality of life of patients with prolonged parenteral antimicrobial therapy requirements, reduce the length of hospital stay, and improve the care received after discharge by clinical and analytical surveillance. This study reviews the experience of this service from 1995 to 2002 using prospectively recorded data.

METHODS: An analysis was performed of the number of patients included in the home care program per year, number of patients with HIV infection, infectious disease diagnosed, department referring the patient, antimicrobial treatment administered, destination at discharge, and reason for hospital re-admission.

RESULTS: The number of patients included each year from 1995 to 2002 was 52, 55, 77, 232, 213, 321, 280 and 219, respectively. The percentage of HIV-infected patients decreased from 90% in 1995 to 23% in 2002. The main reason for referral to the program changed from substitution of day-care hospital treatment to early discharge from hospitalization. Whereas CMV infection was the most frequent infection treated during the 1995-1998 period, bacterial infections predominated in the following years. In 148 episodes, self-administration or a portable infusion pump was used for drug administration. Self-administration was associated with a greater risk of complications (24% vs. 12%, OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.5-3.6, P < 0.001) and catheter-related sepsis (4% vs. 0%, OR 12.9, 95% CI 10.9-15.3, P < 0.001). HIV-infected patients were re-hospitalized due to complications unrelated to the home care service more frequently than HIV-uninfected patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The percentage of HIV-infected patients included in the infectious disease home care service has progressively decreased since 1996, a fact likely to be related to the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy and better control of opportunistic infections. Currently, bacterial infections are the most frequent infections treated in the service. Early hospital discharge is now the main reason for referral to the home program.

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