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September 8, 1923


JAMA. 1923;81(10):849-850. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650100057036

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To the Editor:  —When, in 1909, a Committee on Ophthalmia Neonatorum was appointed by the American Medical Association with directions to use its effort to prevent blindness resulting from the neglect of proper care of the new-born infant's eyes, there was reason to expect that much in time might be accomplished. It was a difficult but not an impossible undertaking. The committee worked for a number of years through local and state health boards, and ophthalmologic, gynecologic and other medical societies, with a large measure of success. The percentage of admissions in the schools for the blind of children who had lost their sight from this cause was reduced during the decade and a half between the years 1908 and 1923 from 26.6 to 14.2 per cent. This was a great gain. It meant that many more were saved from a lifetime of blindness than the records indicated. But eternal

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