23.10 Eye Prophylaxis for Newborn



  1. Given to protect from neonatal conjunctivitis or ophthalmia neonatorum caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea

Nursing Points


  1. Required by law in US
    1. Parents have the right to refuse
  2. These conditions are transmitted to newborn in birth canal by mother infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia
  3. If not treated, can ultimately cause blindness


  1. Assess eyes for redness or drainage

Therapeutic Management

  1. Give by 1 hours of life
  2. Open eyes
  3. Apply ointment from inner canthus to outer
  4. Don’t wipe off, will absorb

Nursing Concepts

  1. Pharmacology
  2. Infection control

Patient Education

  1. Educate mother/support system about this before you apply
  2. Educate mother/support system not to wipe it off

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