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Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT)


What is OPAT?

A service that provides injection of antibiotics (intravenous/intramuscular) in outpatient clinic

Why do I need OPAT?

You can go home earlier to enjoy the comfort of home environment, while receiving injection antibiotics in outpatient to complete the treatment regime

Where is it?

Diabetes & Metabolism Centre, Level 4 
(next to Singapore National Eye Centre) 
17 Third Hospital Ave, S(168752)

Before OPAT treatment

Upon your doctor’s referral to OPAT, OPAT team will assess your suitability for the treatment. If you are suitable, OPAT nurse will advise you on important information, such as:- 
  • Treatment charges and Medisafe claims 
  • Follow-up visits 

What do I need to consider if I am interested in OPAT?

Vascular Catheter

  • Often you will need to have a vascular access catheter- catheter/tube where antibiotics can be administered to you to avoid multiple injection into blood vessels 
  • They are Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) or Central Venous catheter (CVC) 
  • These are plastic tubing/catheter that is inserted into patient’s vein by specialized doctors, that allow patient to use the same catheter for antibiotics injection for up to 3 months if there is no sign of catheter infection 

Infusion pump or daily infusion

You will be assessed by OPAT team to determine the mode of antibiotics delivery either via 
  • Daily infusion - you need to attend OPAT clinic everyday, each time for 1-2 hours for antibiotics infusion by OPAT nurses 
  • Pump infusion – antibiotics will be infused into patients via portable pumps. Patients or caregivers will need to change to new pumps at home every 24-48 hours, thus save the daily journey to hospital. These small and portable pumps allow patients to continue on their daily activities or return to work without much hindrance 

Transport and Caregiver

You will need to consider the journey to and fro hospital, if transport is available. Sometimes you will need a caregiver to help you manage the vascular device and change of antibiotics pumps 

The Potential risks and their preventive measures

The risks involved are related to: 
  • The infection being treated for 
  • The antibiotics administered – at times, rash or other side effects may happen. If that occurs you may require a change of antibiotics or readmission to hospital 
  • The vascular catheter may become infected or blocked or accidentally dislodged 

If serious complications develop, you may be re-admitted to hospital 

To minimize the risks 

  • The first dose of OPAT antibiotics will be administered in the hospital, to ensure no immediate serious side effects. 
  • Weekly blood test is necessary to monitor for any side effects you may encounter during OPAT treatment 
  • Vascular catheter will be inspected each time you return for OPAT visit, to watch for early detection of possible infection

What can you do to minimize the risks?

Cover the vascular catheter from getting it wet (especially when you take a shower) 
  • Call OPAT clinic during weekdays and office hours, or visit the Emergency department during weekends if you encounter problems, 
    • Fever 
    • Rash 
    • Pain, redness/swelling, discharge from the vascular catheter 
  • Bring your OPAT case files whenever you visit a health care worker to inform them that you are receiving OPAT service 

Do I need to return to hospital everyday?

Depending on the type of antibiotics and mode of antibiotics delivery 
  • You will require to come to OPAT clinic either once a day (each session lasts for 1-2 hours) or once every 4-6 days for pump collection and blood tests 
  • For daily injection – come to OPAT clinic once everyday, stay for 1-3 hours for injection 
  • For infusion pump – come to OPAT clinic every 4-6 days for pump collection and blood tests 

How much does OPAT cost?

Depends on cost of antibiotics and duration of treatment 
  • OPAT charges can be covered by MediSave 
  • You will be informed of the estimated cost before treatment begins 

I am considering OPAT and would like to know more, what should I do

  • You can inform your team doctor, and OPAT nurses will counsel of the necessary 
  • Identify a main caregiver who will be home to manage your pump and vascular access device 

What happens in OPAT

  • You will receive your injection antibiotics (daily injection) 
  • OPAT nurses draw blood for investigations 
  • Management of your vascular catheter device (PICC/CVC) 
  • Your antibiotics pumps will be collected in OPAT 

Location of service for nebulised medication

The OPAT Clinic 

Diabetes & Metabolism Centre, Level 4 
(next to Singapore National Eye Centre) 
17 Third Hospital Ave, Singapore 168752

Tel : (65) 6326 6727 
Fax : (65) is 6326 1837 

Opening Hours: 
Monday to Friday from 8.00am-6.00pm 
Saturday 8.00am-12.30pm 
Sunday & Public Holidays 8.00am-12.00pm