The Clinical Report, Umbilical Cord Care in the Newborn Infant, is being published in the September 2016 issue of Pediatrics.
From the report: “This clinical report reviews the evidence underlying recommendations for care of the umbilical cord in different clinical settings.
Implications for Clinical Practice:
- Application of select antimicrobial agents to the umbilical cord may be beneficial for infants born at home in resource-limited countries where the risks of omphalitis and associated sequelae are high.
- Application of select antimicrobial agents to the umbilical cord does not provide clear benefit in the hospital setting or in high-resource countries, where reducing bacterial colonization may have the unintended consequence of selecting more virulent bacterial strains. In high-resource countries, there has been a shift away from the use of topical antimicrobial agents in umbilical cord care for this reason.
- For deliveries outside of birthing centers or hospital settings and in resource-limited populations (eg, Native American communities), the application of prophylactic topical antimicrobial agents to the umbilical cord remains appropriate.
- At the time of discharge, parental education regarding the signs and symptoms of omphalitis might decrease significant morbidities and even associated mortalities.
- Of paramount importance is the need for all primary care providers to be diligent in reporting infections associated with umbilical cord care. The development of a local reporting system regarding the occurrence of omphalitis and/or its morbidities to the health care providers at the site of delivery will create more robust data, allowing for improvement in treatment paradigms in the future.”
Reference: Stewart D, Benitz W, AAP COMMITTEE ON FETUS AND NEWBORN. Umbilical Cord Care in the Newborn Infant. Pediatrics. 2016;138(3):e20162149