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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2018 Feb;37(2):157-163. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000001716.

Safety of Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy in Children.



Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) provides numerous benefits but may pose unique risks in children. We aimed to determine rates of OPAT antimicrobial- and intravenous access-related complications and their associations with specific antimicrobials and type of intravenous access in pediatric patients.


Observational cohort study of patients receiving OPAT from August 2008 to May 2015 cared for by the Infectious Diseases service at a tertiary children's hospital. Primary outcome was antimicrobial discontinuation (AD) because of OPAT-associated complications. Secondary outcomes were unplanned outpatient healthcare visits and readmissions from OPAT-associated complications.


Seven hundred and seven intravenous antimicrobials were prescribed in 540 cases. Nondevice-associated musculoskeletal infection was the most common diagnosis (39%). Ceftriaxone (30%), cefazolin (27%) and vancomycin (22%) were the most commonly used antimicrobials. Complications led to AD, ≥1 unplanned outpatient healthcare visit and ≥1 readmission in 23%, 30% and 17% of cases, respectively. Compared with use of ceftriaxone, use of oxacillin was associated with a significantly higher risk of AD because of any antimicrobial-related complication [hazard ratio (HR), 3.3; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2-9.7) and because of hepatic transaminitis (HR, 32.8; 95% CI: 4.02-268.2). Subjects treated with intravenous clindamycin (HR, 2.6; 95% CI: 1.1-5.8) and with a peripherally inserted central catheter (HR, 2.6; 95% CI: 1.04-6.3) were more likely to have unplanned outpatient visits.


Use of oxacillin during OPAT was associated with higher rate of AD. Patients treated with clindamycin and those with a peripherally inserted central catheter had higher rates of unplanned outpatient visits. Providers should strongly consider alternative treatment options when possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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