Umbilical sepsis is common name for Omphalitis of newborn.
Usually after birth, the umbilical cord is cut except for a small part which is called as stump. Generally the stump dries and falls off from the skin within 3-45 days from birth. But sometimes due to unhygienic conditions or some other reasons causes infection, which if not treated leads to Umbilical sepsis. Sepsis means inflammation due to infection.
- Redness around umbilical stump
- Pus from umbilical stump
- Poor feeding.
Umbilical sepsis is caused mainly due to bacterial infection. It can be prevented by maintaining hygiene while handling a newborn. The stump usually dries off quickly when exposed to air, so it’s necessary to leave the stump open. Cleaning the stump with clean cotton and water also helps.
Following practices if followed, helps keep all kinds of bacterial infections at bay.
- Exclusive breast feeding; no prelacteals
- Keeping cord/stump dry
- Hand-washing by care-givers before and after handling the baby
- Hygiene of the baby (sponging, clean clothing)
- Avoiding unnecessary intravenous fluids, injections, needle pricks etc.
But if detected with infection, immediately show the newborn to doctor who will prescribe a course of antibiotics and maintaining hygiene of the baby.
Most of newborn infections can be prevented by following some simple rules of cleanliness and hygiene.