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Penicillin or silver nitrate as a prophylactic against ophthalmia neonatorum?

, : Penicillin or silver nitrate as a prophylactic against ophthalmia neonatorum?. American Journal of Public Health and the Nation's Health 38(12): 1680-1682

In discussing the use of various drugs in preventing ophthalmia neonatorum, the authors cite the studies of H. C. Franklin of the U. S. Public Health Service on the use of penicillin both with 4 instillations and later with one instillation, and compare the results with the customary use of 1% AgNO3- They point out the record reduction in new admissions to schools for the blind from this cause from 28% in 1908 to less than 3% for 1945-46. No permanent damage to the eyes results when 1% AgNO3 solution in paraffin-lined beeswax ampules is used. A study by the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness in 1948 indicates that of 57 professors of obstetrics in approved U.S. medical schools, 90% use these ampules, with no damage from AgNO3 occurring among the 112,035 live births in their services in 1947. Most health departments distribute these ampules. Citing the findings of the New York Acad. of Med. and of the Council of the Amer. Acad. of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and the Section on Ophthalmology of the Amer. Med. Assoc, the authors conclude that "no change concerning the use of prophylactic agents in the prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum should be recommended at the present time. However, carefully controlled research with AgNO3, penicillin, and possibly other antibiotic agents should be encouraged in institutions where such investigations can be carried out under strictly scientific conditions and with adequate controls.".


PMID: 18099739

DOI: 10.2105/ajph.38.12.1680

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