Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
National-Guidelines-on-the-Provision-of-Outpatient-Parenteral-Antimicrobial-Therapy-OPAT.pdf (437.6 kB)

National guidelines on the provision of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT)

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-01, 13:23 authored by Eileen Sweeney, N Curtin, Eoghan De BarraEoghan De Barra, Karen BurnsKaren Burns, E O'Neill, E Feeney, H. Tuite, A Jackson, P Gavin, S Clarke, S O'Connell, E Muldoon


Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) is an option in patients who require parenteral antimicrobial administration and are clinically well enough for hospital discharge. This is an update of the Irish National OPAT guidelines which were last reviewed in 2011. 


The guideline was devised through a collaborative process with the national OPAT Working Group and a review of the literature. It is intended for clinicians who prescribe any intravenous (IV) antimicrobials outside of the inpatient setting in the Republic of Ireland. 


Patient care while on OPAT should be provided by a designated OPAT service, with clear managerial and clinical governance lines of responsibility. It should be conducted using a team approach with a clinical lead on each site either as an infection specialist, or a general medical physician with infection specialist input and an OPAT nurse. An antimicrobial pharmacist is also desirable. Several factors must be considered when assessing patient’s suitability for OPAT including exclusion criteria, infection-specific factors, and patient specific factors such as physical, social and logistic criteria. 


This updated guideline advocates a more individualised OPAT approach, with the recognition that specific antimicrobials and/or specific delivery models may be more appropriate for certain patient groups. Full guidelines are available through



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Sweeney E. et al. National guidelines on the provision of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT). Ir Med J. 2020;113(7):123.

Publication Date

30 July 2020

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • International Health and Tropical Medicine


Irish Medical Association


  • Published Version (Version of Record)