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July 16, 1982

Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy in an Outpatient Setting

JAMA. 1982;248(3):336-339. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330030042023

A program has been developed for the outpatient administration of parenteral antibiotics. To date, more than 150 patients with osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, pyelonephritis, endocarditis, and other infections have been treated. Antibiotic solutions were prepared in the hospital pharmacy and given to the patient to be kept refrigerated at home until used. Patients administered their own antibiotics by means of a heparin lock, which was replaced every four days or when necessary. Complications were infrequent. Many patients were able to return to work while receiving therapy; others enjoyed the comfort of being at home. Cost reductions were substantial, calculated to be at least $142 a day, or the charge for a semiprivate room in 1981. In addition to the cost savings, critically needed hospital beds were freed for more acutely ill patients.

(JAMA 1982;248:336-339)