Recommend, 2019

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Share Complications of umbilical cord infection

Eva Paris @paris_eva

Each year, one third of neonatal deaths worldwide (1.5 million) are due to some infection, and many of them start as umbilical cord infection .

Umbilical cord infections occur in all areas. However, they are much more likely in low-income countries and in places where the majority of deliveries are not attended by trained personnel. In some areas, popular, cultural or traditional practices generate a greater susceptibility to cord infection because they do not adequately prevent infection.

As we saw when talking about omphalitis, 0.7% of newborns in developed countries and up to 2.3% in developing countries suffer from this infection, which sometimes causes complications, and this is due to poor cord care .

Simple preventive aseptic practices are not implemented universally. In 14 countries in Latin America, almost 100 000 deaths of children under one year were studied. Up to 16% of the deaths were due to infection, a percentage that ranged between 31.3% in El Salvador and 7.5% in Costa Rica.

The authors of a WHO review that collects these cases (published in the Library on reproductive health ) point out that, given the high variety of institutional births in the region (with the exception of 24.2% in Haiti), cord infections should be preventable in most cases.

Although they also point out that, regardless of the setting, the best way to manage the umbilical cord is unknown according to the studies reviewed:

No differences were found in umbilical cord infection rates when the use of topical antiseptic was compared with dry cord care or placebo.

In any case, recommend that in areas where the risk of bacterial infection is high antiseptic is used according to local preferences.

As we have spoken on many occasions in the blog, to avoid complications from umbilical cord infection, we must try to keep it clean and dry. Some pediatricians do not suggest the use of antiseptics, others recommend using antiseptics twice a day, usually 70º alcohol.

Via | WHO Photo | Salimfadhley on Flickr in Babies and more | When the umbilical cord of the babies falls ?, Abnormalities in the navel of the newborn, Onfalitis or infection of the navel of the newborn, Care of the newborn: the umbilical cord