Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy offers the option of treating children requiring intravenous antibiotics for acute urinary tract infection (UTI)/pyelonephritis at home. We aimed to determine the outcomes of treating patients with UTI/pyelonephritis using outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy directly from the emergency department (ED) without admission to hospital.
This was a retrospective study (August 2012–July 2016) of children with UTI/pyelonephritis treated with parenteral antibiotics via a peripheral cannula directly from ED to home under a hospital-in-the home (HITH) program. Data collection included demographics, clinical features, length of stay, complications, and readmissions to hospital.
There were 62 patient episodes of UTI/pyelonephritis transferred directly from ED to HITH. Fifty-eight (94%) had systemic features including fever, vomiting and/or tachycardia. Eighteen (29%) patients had an underlying condition. Nine (15%) received intravenous fluids and 8 (13%) antiemetics in ED. The outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy course was successfully completed in 56 (90%) patients. Of 6 (10%) patients who were readmitted, 2 were discharged within 24 hours, and none were severely unwell. Two (3%) had a blocked cannula, with no antibiotic complications. HITH patients were treated for a combined total of 142 days at home resulting in a cost saving of Australian dollar 108,914 (US dollar 82,775). However, only 8% of children deemed to require a course of intravenous antibiotics were transferred directly home from ED. Compared with patients concurrently admitted to hospital, fewer on HITH were less than 1 year of age (13% vs. 33%; odds ratio: 0.3; P < 0.01).
Selected patients presenting to ED with UTI/pyelonephritis may be treated directly via HITH, including some with underlying conditions and/or systemic features.