Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Swelling of the Umbilical Cord Overview

Another name for Swelling of the Umbilical Cord is Umbilical Cord Infection.

What is an umbilical cord infection?
An infant with an umbilical cord infection has redness and swelling of the umbilical cord stump, caused by a bacterial infection. Umbilical cord infections occur in about one out every 200 infants. The infection can be avoided by caring for the umbilical cord appropriately.

What are the symptoms of an umbilical cord infection?
Normally, the umbilical cord stump gradually dries, turns black, and falls off within 2 weeks. Occasionally, mild bleeding from the stump may occur. Symptoms of an umbilical cord infection include umbilical cord redness, swelling and tenderness. Pus may drain from the umbilical cord and the infant may develop a fever.

How does the doctor treat an umbilical cord infection?
Treatment for an umbilical cord infection includes oral antibiotics and thorough cleaning of the cord 3 times a day.

Continue to Swelling of the Umbilical Cord Incidence

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Swelling of the Umbilical Cord References
  1. Bryanton J, Walsh D, Barrett M, Gaudet D. Tub bathing versus traditional sponge bathing for the newborn. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2004 Nov-Dec;33(6):704-12. [15561658]
  2. Volante E, Moretti S, Pisani F, Bevilacqua G. Early diagnosis of bacterial infection in the neonate. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Nov;16 Suppl 2:13-6. [15590427]
  3. Vural G, Kisa S. Umbilical cord care: a pilot study comparing topical human milk, povidone-iodine, and dry care. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2006 Jan-Feb;35(1):123-8. [16466360]
  4. Zupan J, Garner P, Omari AA. Topical umbilical cord care at birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD001057. [15266437]
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