ECU Physicians opens infusion center

Eastern North Carolina residents in need of long-term intravenous antibiotic treatments now have an alternative to a hospital visit.

ECU Physicians recently opened a designated infusion center led by a team of infectious disease specialists – a rarity in eastern North Carolina.

Before, patients typically had to go to a hospital to receive their intravenous antibiotic treatments. Dr. Rabindra Ghimire, an assistant professor in the ECU Division of Infectious Diseases and International Travel Health, said this often resulted in lengthy visits, subjected patients to higher costs and increased exposure to hospital-acquired infections.

The new state-of-the-art center at 2390 Hemby Lane in Greenville is an effort to change that.

The center can treat patients with a range of infections – from those in bones and heart valves to those in skin and soft tissues. Most treatment regimens require a visit weekly or every other day, depending on the type of antibiotic needed and a patient’s insurance requirements. Individual treatments can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

Greenville resident Jason Glisson has been receiving weekly intravenous treatments at the new infusion center since developing a post-operative infection in his foot in December.

“This is a great place and the staff is nice, so I’m glad it’s here because I don’t like going to the hospital,” Glisson said. “My appointments here take about 20 minutes, but if I have to go into the hospital it’s an all-day wait, and I’m not a big fan of that.”

In addition, the infusion center’s onsite lab reduces the amount of time patients have to wait between bloodwork and treatment, Ghimire said.

“With this new center, those issues are all gone,” Ghimire said. “It’s also easier to follow the patients because they’re here with us every week.”