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November 14, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(20):1756-1758. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570200050015

The part played by ophthalmia neonatorum in producing blindness is a sadly conspicuous and leading one. It enlists our sympathetic interest because its victims are, in the vast majority of instances, the "little ones," who are powerless to prevent its occurrence and powerless also to make known the early manifestations of a disease which is destroying their sight. In consequence of its ravages, the lives of these defenseless unfortunates are blighted irrevocably, and they are forever consigned to a future of unending darkness. No writer can be charged with unseemly reiteration, no medical tongue accused of boresome repetition, no matter how often or how insistently he dwells on this painful, humiliating truth, namely, that the vast majority of these little ones could have been spared their sad affliction if only the simplest elementary precautions had been observed at the proper time.

Statistics are numerous, indicating the frequency and the proportion

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