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.
A look at the past . . .. Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(9):1237. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.9.1237