Devitalized umbilical cord is an ideal substrate for bacterial growth and any infection of the cord has the potential to directly spread to the blood stream. To prevent such infection:
- All 5 cleans should be practiced during the delivery. 5 “C’s”:
- Clean hands,
- Clean surfaces,
- Clean blades,
- Clean cord ties, and
- Clean cord stump.
- Stump should be kept dry and nothing should be applied. However, in settings with high Neonatal Mortality Rate and unhygenic cord practices, 4% chlorhexidine or 70% alcohol can be applied.
- Nappy should be folded below the stump to avoid any soiling.
- Rooming in of neonates with their mother reduces colonization and infection from potentially pathogenic organisms.
Note: Dry cord care versus 70% alcohol has no statistically significant differences with regards to the occurrence of local infection, systemic disease, granuloma, bleeding. However, time of cord separation has been found to be significant shorter in the dry cord care group.