HealthDay News — Patients can be taught to safely self-administer long-term intravenous antibiotics at home, without the help of a health care worker, according to research published in PLOS Medicine.

The 4-year study compared 944 uninsured patients who were taught to administer their own intravenous antibiotics and 224 patients who received antibiotics from a health care worker.

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The researchers found that the patients who self-administered had a 47% lower rate of hospital readmission over 30 days. Mortality rates were similar in both groups.

“This really taps into human potential, giving a voice to the uninsured at the same time that it offers an opportunity for enormous cost savings to hospitals,” first author Kavita Bhavan, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical Center in Dallas, said in a medical center news release.


Bhavan K, Brown L, Haley R. Self-Administered Outpatient Antimicrobial Infusion by Uninsured Patients Discharged from a Safety-Net Hospital: A Propensity-Score-Balanced Retrospective Cohort Study. PLOS Med. 2015;12(12):e1001922. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001922.