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August 12, 1950


Author Affiliations

Chairman, Eye Section, Philadelphia County Medical Society

JAMA. 1950;143(15):1360. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910500062022

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To the Editor:—  I cannot subscribe to the use of penicillin and silver nitrate prophylaxis against ophthalmia neonatorum as reported in The Journal of June 17, 1950, page 635. I had a scientific exhibit at the American Medical Association Convention in Chicago, in 1948, pointing out the shortcomings of silver nitrate. I particularly emphasized that prophylaxis of the mother, especially with antibiotics, would obviate the necessity for drugs or chemicals in the eyes of the newborn. It was further pointed out that, since the medical profession was in the habit of putting something in the eyes of the newborn, penicillin was the product of choice. Statistics of experience were posted at the exhibit. At the American Academy of Pediatrics, April 1, 1950, I presented a paper indicating that silver nitrate was on the way out.At the Philadelphia General Hospital an experiment was conducted by the State Department of Health

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