To the Editor:—
Cave et al (210:309, 1969) emphasized the high rate of positive cultures for Neisseria gonorrhoeae in both obstetric and gynecologic populations. Other recent investigations1-4 in North American prepartum clinics have likewise revealed high rates of infection. Cave et al rightly point out the advisability of routine testing whenever pelvic examinations are done on female patients. Not mentioned by the authors, however, is one of the most important reasons to routinely test prepartum patients, ie, to protect the eyes of their unborn babies.The worldwide increase in gonorrhea is creating conditions favorable for an increase in gonorrheal ophthalmia neonatorum. Since no comprehensive surveys have been undertaken and since gonorrheal ophthalmia is not always reported to public health agencies, it is difficult to know if the anticipated rise in gonorrheal ophthalmia neonatorum is actually occurring. However, several institutions have reported increased numbers of cases in recent years.
Friendly DS. Gonorrhea in the Obstetric Clinic. JAMA. 1970;211(1):124. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170010078023
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