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J Pediatr Orthop. 2002 Jul-Aug;22(4):506-10.

Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy in osteoarticular infections in children.

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University of Florida Health Science Center, Shands, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.


There are few data on the use of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) in the management of osteoarticular infections (OAIs) in childhood. The objective of this study was to determine if OPAT is safe and effective in the management of OAIs. Using their OPAT database, the authors evaluated the use of OPAT in children younger than 18 years old treated for OAIs between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 1999. One hundred eighty-four OAIs were treated in 179 patients over 5 years. OPAT involved central venous lines (CVLs) in 110 (59.8%), peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) in 71 (38.6%), and peripheral cannulas in 3 (1.6%). One hundred eighteen (64%) OPAT courses were completed without interruption. Rehospitalization occurred in 48 (26.1%) courses and occurred earlier with PICC. OPAT complications were catheter-related in 58 (30%) courses, not catheter-related in 60 (32%), and unknown in 10 (5.3%). The mechanical complication rate was 6.3 per 1,000 catheter-days (CVL 4.2, PICC 10.6), and the rate of infectious complications was 2.7 per 1,000 catheter-days (CVL 2.8, PICC 2.4). One hundred sixty-eight (98%) of 172 evaluable OAIs were cured. Four (2.2%) patients failed treatment: one had recurrence and three had persistent infection. The authors conclude that OPAT can be safely used to manage OAIs in children without compromising outcome. Mechanical complications are more common with PICCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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