Home intravenous antibiotic treatment for febrile episodes in immune-compromised pediatric patients

Med Pediatr Oncol. 1998 Feb;30(2):95-100. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-911x(199802)30:2<95::aid-mpo5>3.0.co;2-v.


The purpose of this work was to assess the feasibility of home intravenous antibiotic treatment (HIAT) for febrile episodes in immune-compromised (neutropenic, splenectomized), low-risk pediatric patients. Thirty hematology-oncology patients who presented to our emergency room from January 1993 to January 1995 and who suffered from a febrile episode and were considered at low risk for septic complications were immediately discharged on HIAT. Patients were followed for at least 3 weeks after recovery. Patients and parents were retrospectively questioned about adverse effects and about their degree of satisfaction with home treatment. Patients who required hospitalization during this period were considered unresponsive to HIAT and were analyzed for causes and adverse effects. Thirteen out of 60 (22%) febrile episodes, or eight out of 42 (19%) episodes of fever and neutropenia eventually led to hospitalization. Pseudomonas species infections were associated with the highest rate of unresponsiveness (88%). A central venous catheter infection developed in two cases following HIAT (two cases out of 640 days of therapy). No other complications were identified. No infection-related morbidity was observed. Patients and parents were highly satisfied with HIAT and wanted to use it again, if necessary. Immediate discharge on HIAT for low-risk pediatric immune-compromised patients suffering from a febrile episode is feasible, safe, and well accepted by patients and families. Patients who are found to have Pseudomonas infections should probably be hospitalized. Our results are preliminary and must be confirmed by a prospective, randomized trial before definite recommendations can be made.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fever / drug therapy*
  • Home Infusion Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Infant
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Neutropenia / drug therapy*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents