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Ambulatory intravenous ceftriaxone in paediatric A&E: a useful alternative to hospital admission?
  1. Jennifer K Smith1,
  2. Saji Alexander2,
  3. Ed Abrahamson2
  1. 1Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jennifer K Smith, Paediatric ST5, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, 9 Sciennes Rd, Edinburgh, UK; jennifer.k.smith{at}


Background Treatment of children with intravenous ceftriaxone on an ambulatory basis is described. This allows a child to remain at home, but also be reviewed regularly when attending the Emergency Department for antibiotics.

Methods Indications for, and length of, treatment and laboratory parameters were recorded. Also, a survey of children's parents was undertaken to ascertain opinions regarding ambulatory treatment.

Results 36 patients were treated with ambulatory ceftriaxone over 4 months. Indications included fever without focus, tonsillitis, periorbital cellulitis, urinary tract infection, petechial rash and lymphadenitis. Median duration of treatment was 2.3 days. There was no occult bacteraemia but five positive urine cultures. There was one failure of treatment with subsequent admission for alternative intravenous antibiotics.

Conclusions Parental opinion favours ambulatory treatment, with 94% of parents acknowledging they would choose it again in similar circumstances. Cost analysis favours ambulatory treatment based on predicted costs of a similar length of inpatient stay.

  • Paediatrics

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Charing Cross Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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