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From the Archives of the Archives
September 1999

A look at the past . . .

Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(9):1237. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.9.1237

Ophthalmic ointments have been, and are, prescribed and used by ocular surgeons throughout the civilized world. By far the most commonly used by the family physician is yellow mercuric oxide. . . . At the Wills Hospital, it was our experience for years to use an ointment containing mercury bichloride (1:3,000) after all cataract operations, merely because we had seen our predecessors use the same technic. . . . The fact that the ointments contain organisms is sufficient proof that pathogenic bacteria may also be present. . . . Our experiments have led us to discontinue the postoperative use of ointments. We get along very well without them.

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