Omphalitis or navel infection of the newborn

Omphalitis or umbilical infection of the newborn usually causes suppuration by the navel. It occurs rarely (in 0.7% of newborns in developed countries and up to 2.3% in developing countries), but it is potentially dangerous. To prevent it, the navel should be disinfected well.

The first sign is that it smells bad. If the umbilical cord is abnormally moist, with purulent or cloudy secretions and smells "rotten", the pediatrician should be consulted immediately. Umbilical erythema, redness around the navel and edema also occur. The average age of presentation is the third day of life.

Omphalitis can be extremely serious, given the permeability of the umbilical vessels that persists until approximately 20 days of life. In the most severe cases, fever and signs of toxicity add to the symptoms.

As for the treatment, will always be prescribed by the specialist. The milder cases can be treated with topical preparations, and in the most severe cases the treatment must be aggressive with intravenous antibiotics.

The low birth weight, prolonged labor, premature rupture of membranes and male sex have been described as risk factors for onphalitis.

So that during the cord drying process it does not get infected, the most important thing is to always keep it as clean and dry as possible, preventing it from getting dirty with feces or urine. After the cord falls, the risk of infection persists until the navel has not healed completely, so you should continue with the same care and vigilance until the gauze that covers it appears clean for a couple of days in a row.

Remember that good care of the umbilical cord is what prevents this navel infection or omphalitis.

Video: Umbilical Infections - Newborn Care Series (January 2020).