Infant medical procedure 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Kaplan Medical Center)
The sight in the right eye of a five-month-old infant has been saved by Kaplan
Medical Center doctors after they surgically infused antibiotics directly into
The eye had been overwhelmed by an infection caused by a rare
The infant, from Ashdod, was rushed to the Rehovot hospital, where
a new strain of an aggressive bacterium called Kingella kingae was diagnosed.
Fortunately, the pathogen is so new that it is still not resistant to powerful
antibiotics. His parents were so grateful that they changed the boy’s name from
Hilai to Ilai.
The proteobacteria from the order of Neisseriales was
first isolated in 1960, but until the 1990s culture techniques didn’t improve
enough for it to become recognized as a significant cause of infection in young
It often causes infections in the covering of the heart, the
ligaments and bones and sometimes in the lungs and brain, but it has very rarely
affected the eyes.
It is part of the bacterial flora of the throat in
young children and transmitted from one child to another.
Pollack, an ophthalmologist at Kaplan, said it was the first time they had seen
a breakout of the virulent bacteria. When the antibiotic was given directly into
the hollow of the eye and the pathogen was weakened and destroyed, the doctors
knew that the baby’s sight in the affected eye had been saved.
taken four weeks ago to Kaplan with a high fever, nausea, vomiting and a very
red eye. Pollack, who examined him, said the condition was very hard to
Finally, the source of the infection was identified by a
multidisciplinary team, who said that it had reached the eye from the
“It was very unusual. During a very short time it
could have led to complete blindness, thus it was very important to take him to
the operating room to neutralize the advance of the infection,” she
His mother, Pninit, was very grateful.
“We arrived at the
hospital when the eye was red, with a white spot on the iris,” she said. “We
didn’t know what the problem was, and it was very scary, but the angels in white
saved my baby.”
After the operation succeeded, the hospital rabbi, Zamir
Cohen, recommended his name be changed to the similarly sounding Ilai, in memory
of the brilliant rabbinical scholar of the Talmud from the second century CE.