The occasional development of ophthalmia in the new-born is probably not due to the omission of the conventional prophylactic means employed but rather to faulty instillation of the bactericide instilled.
In order for the antiseptic solution used to be effective, it is essential that contact be made with all parts of the conjunctival sac. Simply, as so often occurs, to expose the membrane about the palpebral fissure[ill] is by no means sufficient. By the customary manual retraction of the eyelids, free and full exposure of the conjunctival membrane is rarely afforded.
By this method only partial exposure of the sac to the germicidal solution is as a rule attained.
Manual retraction, moreover, with the gloved fingers or the gloved fingers enveloped with gauze is more or less cumbersome and often proves inadequate in assuring that the antiseptic medication is properly instilled. By this method, furthermore, the antiseptic
Bland PB, Castallo MA. INSTRUMENTS TO FACILITATE THE INSTILLATION OF PROPHYLACTIC MEDICATION OF THE EYES OF THE NEW-BORN. JAMA. 1935;104(12):997. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.92760120004009c
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