Chemoprophylaxis is very effective and should be used freely after known exposure to dangerous bacteria which are very sensitive to an antibiotic. Into this category falls prophylaxis against beta-streptococcal, meningococcal and gonococcal infections.
The value of preventing beta-hemolytic streptococcal infections in children who have suffered an attack of rheumatic fever is established beyond a doubt.
Antibiotics generally should not be used during an acute viral infection for protection against possible secondary bacterial invasion.
In general, antibiotic prophylaxis should not be used to attempt to reduce the incidence of bacterial infections in children who are suffering from a chronic disease of nonbacterial origin, such as diabetes or nephrosis.
The use of antibiotic prophylaxis in surgery should be limited to certain specific indications. It should not be used in "clean" elective surgery.
Antibiotic prophylaxis may be of value for small premature infants during the first week of life, but much more data on this point are required. For full-term newborn infants chemoprophylaxis has only limited usefulness, except for ophthalmia neonatorum. In the light of present knowledge, antibiotic prophylaxis should be used to help control outbreaks of staphylococcal and E. coli diseases in the nursery.
- Copyright © 1959 by the American Academy of Pediatrics