The University of Florida's Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine's oupatient parenteral (non-oral) antibiotic therapy program provides a method for patients to receive long-term intravenous antibiotics at home, in an infusion center, an inpatient rehab, or a skilled nursing facility.
In coordination with the UF Health Antibiotic Stewardship program, our inpatient Infectious
Disease physicians work to select the most appropriate therapy for your infection. OPAT allows
patients who are well enough to no longer require inpatient hospitalization aside from needing
IV antibiotics. Eligibility for the program is determined on a case by case basis. Patients may have a serious
infection that is under control but require long courses of IV antibiotic therapy.
The most common infections treated with OPAT include:
- Skin & soft tissue infections
- Bone and joint infections
- Bloodstream infections
- Complicated urinary tract infections
- Surgical site infections
- Respiratory infections
Working with your case manager and primary team, we evaluate your potential for outpatient
antibiotics to develop the best possible treatment course. Your case manager helps you find a
facility for discharge or if you are well enough to return home, home health care and infusion
service companies. Case Management will help sort through insurance issues to choose the
best fit for you.
You should receive at minimum:
- Weekly lab work
- Weekly dressing changes to your catheter / central line
The OPAT nurse practitioner reviews the weekly lab work and manages the daily operations for the OPAT service.
You will be discharged with a long-term IV or central access catheter depending on your clinical situation. Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICC) are appropriate for treatment over 2 weeks while Midline catheters are used for antibiotic courses between 2 to 3 weeks. These catheters are removed by your Home Health nurse or primary physician after completing IV antibiotics.
Depending on your destination after discharge, you (or a caregiver) may be required to administer the IV antibiotics. A Home Health nurse will teach you how to give the medications & troubleshoot your device. You may have a continuous infusion or an infusion that require a machine that range from 1 – 2 hours in duration. Your infusion company can assist in the best device for your particular medication and need.
You have been discharged with at least one IV antibiotic. Allergic reactions can occur with any medication. You should seek immediate medical attention if you develop any symptoms while at home such as a rash, facial swelling, or difficulty breathing or swallowing. Occasionally your IV line can be blocked.
Your home health nurse can assist with troubleshooting your catheter if there is a mechanical obstruction or clot that requires medication. Long term vascular access devices carry a risk of infection.