About Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT)
Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy, or OPAT, is a treatment approach for patients requiring long-term intravenous (IV) antibiotic therapy. OPAT is a way for patients with many types of severe infections to receive intravenous antibiotics outside of the hospital.
Prior to its introduction in the 1970s, patients who required long-term intravenous antibiotic therapy had to stay in the hospital to receive their treatment, even if they were stable enough to go home. Now, thanks to OPAT, patients with severe infections who are otherwise healthy can receive intravenous antimicrobial therapy in an outpatient setting or in the comfort of their own home.
Although it is used for many different types of infections, some of the most common infections treated with OPAT include:
- Bone and joint infections
- Infective endocarditis (infection of the heart valves)
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Bacteremia (infection in the blood)
OPAT at UNM SRMC
At UNM SRMC, our OPAT Clinic offers a multidisciplinary approach for providing individualized treatment plans for patients requiring long-term IV antibiotic therapy. Our team closely monitors the treatment of patients who are receiving their IV treatments at home – either through self-administration or with the assistance of a nurse or caregiver – or in another outpatient setting. Our patients are seen once a week to assess the effectiveness of the antimicrobial treatment and to identify any side effects from the therapies.
In the near future, we will be opening an IV Infusion Clinic, which will allow us to administer IV antibiotic therapies on-site, in addition to monitoring the treatment of patients who are taking their IV antibiotics outside of the clinic.
Making an Appointment
The OPAT Clinic offers appointments every Tuesday afternoon. If you have received a referral to our clinic and need to make an appointment with Dr. Vazquez-Guillamet, please call (505) 994-7397.
For your appointment: Please remember to bring a complete list of all current medications and known allergies.
If you are a referring provider, please be sure to send previous records – especially all culture data and previous antimicrobial treatments – with your patient’s referral.