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August 22, 1986

Savings From Outpatient Antibiotic Therapy for Osteomyelitis

JAMA. 1986;256(8):1002. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380080048021

To the Editor.—  We would like to comment on the article submitted by Drs Eisenberg and Kitz11 in the March 28 issue discussing savings from outpatient therapy for osteomyelitis. Our experience has supported the notion that many patients with serious infections can be effectively treated with parenteral antibiotics at home. However, the authors' statement that "over 50% of inpatients with serious infections can be released for outpatient therapy" misinterprets the statistics presented in our 1983 article.2 We described 80 patients who were considered for participation in the Home Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy Program. The training of 32 patients was cancelled for medical, psychosocial, or financial reasons. During the period discussed in the article, there were many more than 80 patients hospitalized with serious infections, and the patients evaluated for home intravenous antibiotic therapy represent but a small fraction of that number.We applaud the authors for reiterating the point