Prophylaxis for Gonococcal Eye Infections in Newborns Advised

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has reaffirmed the recommendation for use of ocular prophylaxis for gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum. This recommendation forms the basis of a final recommendation statement published online Jan. 29 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Susan J. Curry, Ph.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues used a reaffirmation deliberation process to update the 2011 USPSTF A recommendation on prophylactic ocular topical medication use for all newborns to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum.

The researchers found no new data that would change the previous recommendation relating to the effectiveness of topical ocular prophylaxis for preventing gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum and related ocular conditions or evidence that prophylaxis for newborns is associated with serious harms. Based on these findings, the USPSTF reaffirms its previous conclusions that this evidence is convincing to support topical ocular prophylaxis for all newborns (A recommendation).

“The task force continues to recommend that all newborns are given antibiotic ointment to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum,” a task force member said in a statement. “The medicine is safe and highly effective at preventing this serious eye infection and its devastating consequences, including blindness.”

Final Recommendation Statement
Evidence Review (subscription or payment may be required)

Posted: January 2019

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