Posted on Wednesday 18 November 2015
Rewina Tsegai with specialist pOPAT nurse Joanna Newton and her mum Yordanos.
A budding X Factor star has become the first Evelina London patient to use a new device that allows her to have antibiotic treatment at home rather than in hospital.
Rewina Tsegai, 12, from Streatham, needed a six-week course of intravenous antibiotics after she had complex surgery on her spine. Intravenous antibiotics go directly into the bloodstream and usually require patients to stay in hospital until they’ve finished their course of treatment.
The new device allows Rewina to carry her antibiotics around with her in a small bottle, while they drip slowly into her bloodstream through an intravenous line in her arm. This allows her to get back to normal life at home rather than having to stay in hospital receiving her antibiotics four times a day through a drip.
Rewina, who wants to be an X Factor judge when she grows up and can’t wait to see the X Factor live show at Wembley Arena in December, says: “I like Evelina London but it’s so much better being at home with my One Direction posters. I really miss my older sister when I’m in hospital so it’s nice to be at home where she can look after me with my parents.”
Rewina’s mum, Yordanos, was given two days of training by Evelina London’s Paediatric Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (pOPAT) team to learn how to use the device.
She says: “I feel really proud to be able to give Rewina her medicine. I feel confident and supported to do it at home after the training which the Evelina London nurses gave me.”
The pOPAT team wants more people to know about the different options available for intravenous antibiotics to mark European Antibiotics Awareness Day on Wednesday 18 November.
Joanna Newton, specialist pOPAT nurse at Evelina London, says: “Having a child in hospital can involve lots of extra travelling and costs for families. When a child is well enough to go home, apart from their need for intravenous antibiotics, this can be frustrating.
“By helping our patients to have their antibiotics at home, we are not only helping the entire family to carry on with normal life but also saving the NHS money and freeing up hospital beds for children who really need them.”
The pOPAT team reviews the child’s antibiotics weekly to ensure they are always taking the right type and that no unnecessary medication is taken.
Antibiotics are essential medicines to treat infections caused by bacteria. It is vital that antibiotics are used in a smart, focused way to help prevent resistance developing.
Evelina London is encouraging staff, patients and the public to choose a pledge and become an antibiotic guardian as part of a campaign to use antibiotics wisely.
For more information, visit www.antibioticguardian.com.