The aim of this study was to report the characteristics, diagnoses, treatment and outcomes of patients managed by the service over 12 months in 2015/6 and compared these features with those of patients treated with OPAT in 1999″ Chambers et al (2019).
AIM: Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) has become an established option for management infections requiring intravenous therapy. As the uptake of OPAT has increased, the clinical governance has changed and is now managed via virtual clinics and increased use of district nurses in addition to specialist outpatient review. The aim of this study was to report the characteristics, diagnoses, treatment and outcomes of patients managed by the service over 12 months in 2015/6 and compared these features with those of patients treated with OPAT in 1999.
METHODS: Cases for 2015/6 were identified from the OPAT service database which records prospectively all information on diagnosis, antibiotic choice and duration of treatment, complications and requirement for review by the ID physicians and OPAT nurses prospectively. The outcomes, complications and readmissions were found by reviewing computerised records of Christchurch Hospital. All results were entered into a Microsoft® Excel database for analysis. Statistical analyses were performed using OpenEpi software. Data for 1999 was taken from an earlier publication.
RESULTS: OPAT treatment in 12 months from 1 July 2015 was administered 407 times to 385 patients, which represented a 2.7 times increase in treatment courses than in 1999. The median age was 55 years in 1999 and 61 in 2015/6. There was a substantial increase in the proportion of bone and joint, abdominal and urinary tract infections but a fall in cellulitis and soft tissue infection. The number and proportion of patients treated with broad spectrum agents including piperacillin + tazobactam, ceftriaxone and carbapenems increased from 1% in 1999 to 20% in 2015/6. Unplanned readmission to hospital increased from 15 (10%) in 1999 to 62 patients (15%) in 2015/6. The most common reason for readmission in 2015/6 was for ongoing symptoms or progression of the infection requiring OPAT. Eight patients (2%) required readmission from adverse reactions to antimicrobial therapy. Two patients on palliative care died while on OPAT and 35 (9%) within 12 months of the index admission.
CONCLUSION: OPAT use has increased and is used to treat patients with comorbidities, who are older, and with a different case-mix than 1999. Safety has not been compromised but the risk of treatment failure has increased. A better understanding of the reasons for treatment failure would improve patient selection and management with OPAT.
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Chambers, S.T., Basevi, A., Gallagher, K., Carswell-Moyna, A., Isenman, H., Pithie, A., Dalton, S. and Metcalf, S.C. (2019) Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) in Christchurch: 18 years on. The New Zealand Medical Journal. 132(1501), p.21-32.