February 1961

Safe and Effective Chloramphenicol Dosages for Premature Infants

Author Affiliations

From the Premature Center of the Los Angeles County Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Dr. Hodgman) and Instructor in Pediatrics (Dr. Burns).

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(2):140-148. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020030004002

Infections are a significant cause of death in premature infants. Arey and Dent1 reported, in 1953, a survey of 102 neonatal deaths of which 84 were premature. They listed infection as the major cause of death in 13 (15.4%) of the prematures. Six years later Branton,2 in a report of 176 consecutive newborn deaths, of which 136 were prematures, attributed death to infec tion in 20 (14.7%) of the prematures. He reported gram-negative coliform bacilli in 5 of 6 positive blood cultures. Infection also plays a significant role in the mortality at the Premature Center of Los Angeles County Hospital, which cares for over 1,200 premature infants yearly. The main organisms cultured from infections have been gram-negative coliform bacilli, particularly E. coli and Klebsiella aerogenes group. Studies have indicated that these organisms are most consistently sensitive to chloramphenicol. The toxicity of chloramphenicol to premature infants in doses over

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