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Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT)

What is OPAT?
OPAT, Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy, is an outpatient support service that allows you to continue your course of intravenous antibiotic treatment prescribed by your doctor in Tan Tock Seng Hospital's OPAT clinic or in your own home. OPAT clinic offers patients the opportunity to complete their antibiotic treatment safely and conveniently without overnight stay in hospital.

What to Expect Before Your OPAT Treatment?
-A doctor's referral to OPAT
-Assessment by an OPAT doctor for your suitability for the treatment
-If you are a suitable candidate, an OPAT nurse will proceed to advise you on important information related to your treatment, such as treatment charges, Medisave claims, follow-up visits and more.

What Will You Need for Your OPAT Treatment?
-Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) - A special tubing that is usually inserted through a vein in your arm. Treatment using a PICC reduces the risk of infection as compared to using an intravenous cannula insertion.
-Antibiotic - Your antibiotic prescription will be specially prepared for administration via the PICC. During treatment, you are free to resume your normal routine.
-Hospitalisation leave - You will be issued hospitalisation leave during the course of your treatment.

What are the Potential Risks and Their Preventive Measures?

The risks you may experience are:
1. The infection you are being treated for may deteriorate during the course of your OPAT treatment.
-You may be re-admitted to the hospital for further management if necessary.

2. You may develop rashes, nausea or diarrhea from the antibiotics administered.
-You may require a change of antibiotics or re-admission to hospital
-The first dose of your antibiotics will be administered in the hospital. This is to ensure that there are no serious side effects
-A weekly blood test will be taken to monitor for any side effects to your blood count, kidney or liver function, and to assess your response to the antibiotic treatment

3. Your PICC may become clogged, infected (Pain / Fever / Redness / Swelling / Discharged), dislodged.
-A radiology specialist will assist to clear the blockage
-For early detection of possible infection, PICC sites will be inspected each time you return for a visit.

How Often do I Need to Return for Check-ups?
-Your OPAT nurse will arrange appointments for you to return for your regular reviews depending on the antibiotics prescribed. This usually happens on a daily or alternate-day basis and includes weekends and public holidays.
-The doctor will also see you every week (Mondays or Tuesdays) or when the nurse detects a possible problem.
What Happens After I Complete My OPAT Treatment?
-An appointment will be arranged for you to see either your doctor who referred you to OPAT or an Infectious Disease Specialist for follow-ups.
-You may also be required to undergo blood tests and X-ray investigations, and be given oral antibiotics when you return for your review.
Can I use My Medisave to pay for OPAT Treatments?
-Yes, you may use your Medisave to pay for certain OPAT treatment charges. This is subjected to an annual cap established by the Ministry of Health and any other applicable regulations.
-You may check with the OPAT nurse if you have any enquiries.
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