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Umbilical cord care

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Hello Netters,

i wonder what cord care practices are currently standard in your hospitals at the moment?

Is anyone using alcohol and or other antimicrobials like chlorhexidine on a regular basis, or do you tend to use only sterile water with or without soap?

If you don`t use any of the agents listed above, what do you use and how?

If you do cord care this or that way, how often do you do cord care per day / week?

Most interestingly why. Any references?

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At my hospital we have stopped using alcohol and any other treatment for more than a year and have not seen any increase in infection. For UA/UV lines we do not use anything either. I think Mother Nature knows best in this case - less is better. BluelightRN MSN, RNC TRHMC :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

In our hospital we do not apply anything on the cord. we allow it to dry. When baby bath is given (after 5 days as per national guidelines),we use cotton towel to dry. Even in NICU babies, we have not had any problems.



lotus hospital



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Dear Norbert

Here in mexico generally we use only water and soap during the bath, in the first 5 to 7 days we use sometimes a product name merthiolate, I think is timerosal and a mercuric salt. we repeat very frequently to our moms that do not cover with anything and ventilate very frequently. hope this help

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  • 8 months later...
Guest JoannieO

We don't use anything. Generally the cord will just dry and drop off in a few days. This has been our practice for several years now and we have not had any increase in infection, and very rarely have a smelly cord.

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  • 7 months later...

After researching the evidence, we adopted the practice of applying nothing to the cord. The area is cleaned as part of infant's bath using water alone or as with our older infants we use a baby wash type of soap. However, the area around the umbilicus is cleansed/prepped with Chlorhexidine (CHG) and excess wiped off with sterile saline wipe prior to the insertion of umbilical line catheter and nothing else after that. So far so good in our unit!

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