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J AAPOS. 2018 Feb;22(1):66-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2017.08.008. Epub 2017 Dec 13.

Patient demographic and microbiology trends in bacterial conjunctivitis in children.

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University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Florida.
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Florida. Electronic address:


The management of bacterial conjunctivitis has a significant economic impact, despite the relatively benign nature of the disease. We reviewed the medical records for children diagnosed with conjunctivitis at inpatient and outpatient facilities of a tertiary university center over a 5-year period to examine the microbial trends and physician practice patterns and found that most cases of conjunctivitis were treated empirically. When cultures were performed and an organism was recovered, there were significant differences in the organism based on age. Although bacterial conjunctivitis accounted for only 10% of cases, antibiotics were dispensed in more than half of the cases. Pediatricians prescribed antibiotics for conjunctivitis more than twice as often as ophthalmologists. Less than 5% of patients who did not receive antibiotics returned to clinic within 1 month for persistent symptoms.

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