Silver-nitrate prophylaxis for gonorrheal ophthalmia neonatorum was discontinued from April, 1957 through October 25, 1957 in the Sloane Hospital for Women of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.
Six nurseries were kept under surveillance for discharging eyes. The incidence of discharging eyes was 3.2% of 1,974 infants observed. This incidence rate is analyzed by nursery and by months.
Specimens from the 64 infants with discharging eyes and 19 controls were cultured. The results of the cultures from the discharging eyes and the controls were very similar except for four isolations of N. gonorrhoeae from discharging eyes.
This represented a marked increase in incidence of gonorrheal ophthalmia neonatorum over the 10 cases which had occurred in the Medical Center in the previous 25 years.
Two cases of gonorrheal ophthalmia neonatorum were clinically obvious on the second day. One had only a minor discharge on the eighth day. The other was home on the fourth day and returned to the hospital on the sixth day with obvious symptoms. All recovered uneventfully.
None of the mothers were suspected of having gonorrheal infection, although two had positive cultures from the cervix post partum.
Prophylaxis for gonorrheal ophthalmia has been reinstituted in this Medical Center.
- Copyright © 1958 by the American Academy of Pediatrics