From: email@example.com (Jonathan R. Fox)
Subject: Re: Vitamin K. injection and Eye prophylaxis
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000 07:45:50 GMT
On Wed, 01 Mar 2000 22:40:04 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry
>2. The incidence of eye infection causing blindness following childbirth
>in an otherwise healthy birth is essentially zero. The primary rationale
>for using antibiotic prophalaxis is to prevent infection from gonerrhea,
>syphillis, and to a lesser issue, staph and pneumococus. (And, I suspect,
>to reduce the risk of hospital-borne bacterial infection.) In the absence
>of clinical infection, we generally use a broad-spectrum medium potency
>suspension, not "eye goop" ointment. When ointment preps are used, they
>are blotted to remove excess and "visual impairment", if any, lasts a few
>minutes and by then the little one is usually asleep anyway.
The incidence of eye infection causing blindness following childbirth
is essentially zero precisely because of prophylaxis. In 1880, 10% of
European children developed gonococcal conjunctivitis at birth, and
ophthalmia neonatorum was the leading cause of blindness. The
following year, the use of silver nitrate reducted the incidence from
10% to 0.3%. Currently, due to prenatal screening of mothers and the
use of prophylaxis, gonococcal ophthalmia has been passed by
chlamydial conjunctivitis in incidence.
I don't understand why you claim that gonococcal ophthalmia is no
longer a potentially blinding condition. It still is.
Jonathan R. Fox, M.D.