Osteomyelitis is an infection in the bone that causes inflammation of the bone tissue. The treatment usually includes surgery to remove the dead bone portions. After the discharge, the patients are prescribed to antibiotics, either intravenous or oral. The objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness of intravenous and oral antibiotics for the post-discharge treatment of osteomyelitis.
This is a retrospective cohort study conducted across 36 participating children’s hospitals. The study included 2,060 children and adolescents with osteomyelitis. 1,005 of the participants received oral antibiotics at discharge, and 1,055 received PICC-administered (intravenous) antibiotics. The main outcome of the study was treatment failure, and the secondary outcomes were adverse drug reactions and complications.
The rate of treatment failure was low in both treatments, but it was slightly lower in those treated with antibiotics via the oral route. The rate of adverse events was less than 4% in both groups but slightly higher in the PICC group. 15% of the children in the PICC group had a PICC line complication that required emergency medical attention.
The research concluded that PICC treatments had a higher magnitude of complications. Therefore, oral antibiotics treatment could be a safer postdischarge treatment than prolonged intravenous antibiotics treatment.