A growing range of infections can be safely and effectively treated with parenteral antimicrobial therapy at home, including cellulitis, pyelonephritis, pneumonia, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis and deep abscesses.
Patients may be admitted to HITH directly from the emergency department or after a period of in-hospital care; they must be thoroughly assessed for suitability, including clinical stability and social circumstances, and both patient and carer consent must be obtained.
Patients should be medically reviewed weekly at the hospital to monitor progress of therapy and check for possible complications, including adverse drug reactions.
Antibiotic selection should be based on appropriate prescribing principles rather than purely dosing convenience.
Innovative dosing regimens, including once-daily aminoglycosides, continuous-infusion β-lactams (eg, flucloxacillin), once- or twice-daily cephalosporins (eg, cephazolin) and oral fluoroquinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin) provide effective therapy for a wide range of infections that would have previously required in-hospital care.
Appropriate use of HITH leads to improved patient and carer satisfaction, efficient in-hospital bed use and possibly some financial efficiencies.
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