Frequency of Severe Infusion Reactions Associated With Outpatient Infusion of Infliximab Without Premedications

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Abstract

In this report, we describe incremental changes, during a 2-year period at a single center with the administration of maintenance infliximab infusions. Given practice-driven changes consisting of 1-hour infusions and omission of premedications, we aimed to investigate if these changes contributed to severe infusion reactions. We reviewed approximately 900 infliximab infusions in a pediatric ambulatory infusion center from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2015, for severe adverse reactions requiring either rescue epinephrine or a code blue or “rapid response” activation. In 2015, these practice changes resulted in a 51% decrease in total infusion hours (1281 to 630 infusion hours), despite a 9% increase in total number of infusions. No increase in severe adverse events associated with either rapid 1-hour infusion or omission of premedications. Our findings highlight a quality-improvement opportunity to standardize infliximab infusions to streamline care in an ambulatory setting.

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