Ophthalmia neonatorum is defined as conjunctivitis occurring within the first 4 weeks of life. The major causes of ophthalmia neonatorum are presented in Table 5.4 . The prevalence of infection with Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in newborn infants is related directly to the prevalence of infection among pregnant women, whether pregnant women are screened and treated, and whether newborn infants are given ophthalmia prophylaxis. To prevent ophthalmia neonatorum, a prophylactic agent should be in instilled into the eyes of newborn infants. Ocular prophylaxis with these agents does not prevent perinatal transmission of C trachomatis from mother to infant. Screening of pregnant women for chlamydial and gonococcal infection followed by appropriate Treatment and follow-up of all infected women and their partner(s) can minimize the risk of perinatal transmission (see Chlamydial Infections, and Gonococcal Infections). Not all women receive prenatal care, so ocular prophylaxis is warranted for all newborn infants.
Prevention of Neonatal Ophthalmia has been found in Red Book 28e
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