Background: Use of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) in pediatrics is widespread and may be increasing. Recent data quantifying use and characteristics of pediatric OPAT are lacking.
Methods: To evaluate the number of children receiving OPAT each year and their associated characteristics and outcomes, we conducted a retrospective review of all patients discharged with OPAT from the Mayo Clinic Children's Hospital between August 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011.
Results: During the study period, there were 126 pediatric hospital discharges with OPAT (2.5% of all discharges). OPAT was used most commonly to treat bone and joint (21%), bloodstream (15%), intra-abdominal (13%) and soft tissue (9%) infections. A positive culture or serology result was found in 86 (68%) OPAT courses. The most frequently used antibiotics were ceftriaxone (17%), cefazolin (16%) and cefepime (13%). The median duration of OPAT was 12 days. Thirty-six courses (29%) resulted in catheter- or antibiotic-associated complications. Weekly laboratory monitoring was more common when OPAT was managed by the infectious disease service (88%) versus other services (20%). Among 123 courses with follow-up, 109 (89%) resulted in cure, and 13 (11%) were treatment failures.
Conclusion: At our children's hospital, 2.5% of hospitalized patients were discharged with OPAT. In one-third of OPAT courses children developed catheter- or antibiotic-associated complications. Opportunities to increase the role of pediatric infectious disease in OPAT initiation and management should be explored.