The unique issues of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy in children and adolescents

Mobeen H Rathore
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010 September 15, 51 Suppl 2: S209-15
The decision to discharge a hospitalized child or adolescent to receive outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) is based on criteria very different from those concerning adults. Clinical studies of pediatric OPAT are sparse, as are pharmacokinetic data for antimicrobial agents in children. Other issues unique to children are requirements for special nursing and intravenous infusion skills, as well as the increase of complications. The psychological disadvantage of hospitalization in children, compared with adults, is great, and both populations are equally vulnerable to nosocomial infection, increasingly augmented by multidrug-resistant organisms. Although the relatively few clinical studies involving OPAT in children attest to its efficacy and safety, well-designed prospective trials and comprehensive cost-benefit analyses are still needed.

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