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July 1991

Prevention of Postoperative Infection

Author Affiliations

Baltimore, Md

Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(7):944-945. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080070056034

Endophthalmitis remains one of the most feared complications of intraocular surgery despite advances in treatment that allow salvage of functional vision in many affected eyes. A recent survey of 23 625 cases of extracapsular cataract extraction at a major teaching hospital demonstrated a rate of clinical diagnosis of endophthalmitis of 0.089%1; this is essentially the same as results of a study from another university hospital during the intracapsular era that found a diagnosis rate of 0.0865% in 30 000 cases.2 Given the large number of procedures performed, there may be as many as 1000 cases of endophthalmitis after cataract surgery in the United States yearly.

See also pp 911 and 946.

How can surgeons reduce the risk of endophthalmitis occurring in their patients? Cultures of lids, lashes, and conjunctiva will demonstrate colonization with potentially pathogenic Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, or other organisms in approximately 75% of eyes.