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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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A Survey of Current Prophylactic Treatment for Ophthalmia Neonatorum in Croatia and a Review of International Preventive Practices

Snježana Kaštelan, Sonja Anić Jurica, Slavko Orešković, Tomislav Župić, Mislav Herman, Antonela Gverović Antunica, Irena Marković, Ivana Bakija

(Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Dubrava, Zagreb, Croatia)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR8042-8047

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.910705

BACKGROUND: Ophthalmia neonatorum, or neonatal conjunctivitis, is an acute infection that occurs within the first 28 days of life. This aim of this survey was to evaluate the current methods of preventive treatment for ophthalmia neonatorum in maternity hospitals in Croatia.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The annual hospital birth rate in Croatia is approximately 40,000. A clinical survey was undertaken with data collected using questionnaires sent to all 32 maternity hospitals in Croatia. There was a 100% response rate to the questionnaires.
RESULTS: Preventive treatment for ophthalmia neonatorum was administrated to all newborns in 75% (24/32) of Croatian maternity hospitals. In 45.8% of maternity hospitals, (11/32) these procedures were performed within the first hour after birth. In 54.2% of maternity hospitals (13/32), preventive treatment for ophthalmia neonatorum was administrated to all newborns from one to three hours after birth. The main treatment agent was tobramycin (83.3%). Other topical prophylactic treatments included povidone-iodine (8.3%), erythromycin (4.2%), and silver nitrate (4.2%). In 25% of obstetric units, prophylaxis for ophthalmia neonatorum was not used routinely, but in cases of diagnosed neonatal conjunctivitis, antibiotic treatment with tobramycin was mainly used.
CONCLUSIONS: A survey of all 32 maternity hospitals in Croatia showed variation in the prevalence of preventive treatment for ophthalmia neonatorum and the methods used. These findings support the need to implement standardized preventive measures that both conform to international clinical guidelines and recognize treatment availability in Croatia, where topical povidone-iodine is currently preferred for the prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum.

Keywords: Conjunctivitis, Ophthalmia Neonatorum, post-exposure prophylaxis, Postnatal Care

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