What Is Out-Patient Infusion Therapy (OPAT)?

OPAT is administration of antibiotic therapy, usually through a vein (“IV”), outside the hospital.

The GOAL of this treatment are to provide care that is:

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Convenient
  • Avoids hospitalization.

Hospital care has its place but when possible, it’s good to get you closer to home!

Some of the Conditions We Treat

  • Abscesses
  • Blood stream infections
  • Catheter or Device-Associated Infections
  • Skin infection
  • Diabetic wound/foot infections
  • Endocarditis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Lymphadenitis
  • Meningitis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Prosthetic Joint infection
  • Septic arthritis/bursitis
  • Sinusitis/mastoiditis
  • Surgical Wound Infections
  • Syphilis
  • Infections of the urinary tract

Enrollment in OPAT

Planning and coordination of OPAT usually occurs during your hospitalization.

  • An infectious disease specialists supervises the therapy and will communicate with other doctors involved in your care
  • Depending on your insurance, a pharmacy will provide the medications ordered for your infection. Sometimes the medications are delivered to your home for storage after the pharmacy prepares them.
  • OPAT requires a reliable intravenous catheter (IVC). This is usually placed while you are still in the hospital.
  • Sometimes a home health nurse assists with OPAT, sometimes you will come to the UNMH OPAT clinic for monitoring. These details frequently depend on what your insurance company authorizes.

Part of OPAT requires at least weekly blood tests. These help assess the response to treatment and insure medications are not causing side effects.

Risks May Include

OPAT is safe but, like anything (eg driving a car) there are risks such as: Rashes, particularly “hives”, diarrhea (more than 2-3 times daily), nausea, kidney injury, decline in blood cells, fevers (a temperature over 100.3 F), vertigo, Tinnitus, balance issues, liver irritation/toxicity, problems with your IV.

For these reasons, you need to keep your OPAT appointments and keep in touch with your nurses.

To Learn More Please Call Us

Call 505-272-4866 and ask to speak with a nurse coordinator for more information on OPAT.