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In the “Care of the Well Newborn” article in the January 2012 issue (Warren JB, Phillipi CA. Pediatr Rev. 2012;33(1):4–18), erythromycin eye ointment is cited as the most commonly used medication to prevent ophthalmia neonatorum. Although it is effective in the prevention of gonococcal ophthalmia, erythromycin ointment is not effective in preventing conjunctivitis caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. Optimal prevention of ophthalmia involves screening and treating pregnant women for both infections. Ointment administration should not promote complacency in clinicians, who should thoroughly evaluate conjunctivitis appearing in the first month after birth, especially when the mother has not been screened for Chlamydia infection.
- © American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013. All rights reserved.