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Home Intravenous Infusion Viable for Older Patients

With support from a hospital-based team, some older adults could benefit from at-home administration

TUESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with osteoarticular or other infections can receive home-based intravenous antimicrobial infusion therapy if they are given support from a hospital-based team, according to a report in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Preeti N. Malani, M.D., and colleagues at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Ann Arbor, Mich., conducted a study of home-based intravenous antimicrobial infusion therapy. The study included 107 treatment courses in patients aged 60 and older and 124 courses in patients younger than 60, in a total of 205 patients. Both groups were prescribed the treatment predominantly for osteoarticular infections due to Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus.

While younger patients were more able to manage the treatment themselves, older adults required more assistance from family members and were more likely to contact pharmacists or physicians with questions. Both groups had similar adverse events but the older group had higher incidence of nephrotoxicity.

"There have been only a few problems with the patient or the caregiver being unable to perform the infusions after discharge. Use of the resources of the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System to support home intravenous antimicrobials is effective for care of older and younger adults," the authors conclude.

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