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You are being discharged from hospital under the care of the OPAT (Outpatients Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy) team so that you can finish your IV (intravenous) antibiotic treatment in your home or day care unit. Your IV antibiotic will be given by a team of nurses. Your treatment and condition will be monitored by the OPAT team for the duration of your treatment. You will be reviewed by your hospital consultant at outpatient appointments.
What is OPAT?
OPAT service is a team of doctors and nurses who will co-ordinate your care between hospital and the community outpatient setting. The team will ensure that you leave hospital with the correct antibiotics, all the equipment you need for the safe administration of your antibiotics and care of the intravenous line which your antibiotics are given through. The team will provide you with a set of notes containing information regarding your treatment, which you should keep with you at all times until the end of your IV antibiotic treatment.
When and where you will receive treatment and will depend on the course of IV antibiotics. This will be discussed with you before leaving hospital and arrangements will be made by the OPAT team. The OPAT service is available 7 days a week to offer you support and advice regarding your treatment and should you need to return to hospital we will help to facilitate a smooth admission.
Why do I need IV Antibiotics?
IV antibiotics are used in many types of bacterial infections. In some conditions, IV antibiotics are more effective than oral antibiotics at reducing the level of infection that has occurred.
How will they be given?
Before being discharged from hospital, an intravenous line (Cannula/PICC/ Midline) will be put into one of your veins, so that you can receive the treatment. You will be given a specific leaflet about your line and how to look after it. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call a member of the OPAT team.
Are there many side effects?
All medicines can have side effects. For possible side effects relating to your treatment, please refer to the patient information leaflet that can be found inside the box that your medicine comes
in. This will be given to you by the pharmacist.
What should I do if I feel unwell?
If you feel unwell and experience any of the following symptoms, please contact your GP or OPAT team as soon as possible.
• Raised temperature (fever), shaking
• Dizziness, facial flushing or rash
• Sore throat, aching, headache, nausea or diarrhoea.
In very rare cases, some patients may have an extreme allergic reaction to their medication, this is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms include:
• Flushing of the skin
• Nettle rash (hives) anywhere on the skin
• Swelling of throat and mouth
• Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
• Alterations in heart rate, palpitation
• Sudden dizziness or light headaches
• Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
• Sudden feeling of weakness
If you experience any of the above symptoms, either during or after administration of your medicine you should dial 999 and explain you are receiving IV antibiotics and that you may be having an allergic reaction.
How long will I need to receive treatment?
The length of treatment will be decided by your doctor. Although an initial duration may be prescribed, you should be aware that occasionally this may be lengthened if your doctor feels that you would benefit from extended treatment. This will be decided at your outpatient appointments.
Community Nursing service
OPAT works in partnership with Central & North West London NHS Trust to provide care in the community for patients receiving IV antibiotics under the OPAT service. There are a limited
amount of slots within the community and where possible we will try to utilise these slots so that you can receive treatment at home. This service is subject to meeting certain criteria and
availability of slots. Please note that community nurses at present are not able to re-insert cannulas so you would need to attend the hospital OPAT clinic for this.
Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit
Willow Unit (Mon – Sun) between 9-5 pm
01908-660033 bleep1234 or 01908 996573
Acute Medical Unit (Ward 1) 01908 996578