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Home Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy

Raymond A. Smego Jr, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(6):1001-1002. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360060057004.
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Escalating health care expenditures nationwide and the advent of diagnosis-related groups are demanding a reconsideration of usual and customary medical practices. Outpatient self-administration of parenteral antibiotics is not a new concept, but one receiving renewed attention as an alternative to costly prolonged hospitalization. Although the published experience with home intravenous (IV) antibiotic therapy is relatively limited, its safety, therapeutic efficacy, patient acceptability, and cost-effectiveness have been well documented in previous studies involving hundreds of patients.1-5 As with other forms of home care such as continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, blood product and coagulation factor replacement for hemophilia, and total parenteral nutrition, the advantages of such treatment are numerous. Home IV antibiotic therapy costs about one quarter to one third that of inhospital treatment and permits better use of acute-care hospital beds. The ability of patients to resume normal activities and frequently return to school or work is especially gratifying,


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