How to treat umbilical cord?

  1. HI!
    I my unit we use alcool 70 once a day, after the bath, but ive been reading some contradiction literature... Some says to dont apply anything, others to apply iodopovidone, clorhexidine, ...
    Wthats your experience on this?
    And when they have umbilical catethers with briges,do you apply anything?
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Gompers
    We aren't putting anything on our babies' cords anymore, both in the NICU and the regular newborn nursery. They're falling off in the same amount of time as when we used alcohol and haven't noticed any problems. We still do not do tub baths until the cord falls off.

    If we're using umbilical lines, we also don't treat the cord with anything. The doctors do coat the stump with betadine during line placement, but it's for antiseptic purposes only.
  4. by   iceNICUnurse
    Quote from Gompers
    We aren't putting anything on our babies' cords anymore, both in the NICU and the regular newborn nursery. They're falling off in the same amount of time as when we used alcohol and haven't noticed any problems.
    Same here. But we do tub baths with the cord still on. No problems if we make sure to dry it properly afterwards.
  5. by   SteveNNP
    No special cord treatment where I work.... No tub baths 'til cord falls off, Neos use chlorhexidine now instead of betadine/alcohol to prep cord for lines....
  6. by   lovemyjob
    Our nursery uses triple dye and the alcohol with diaper changes. I dont think the alcohol really serves any purpose after the triple dye is on, have actually heard that it slows the falling off process. In the NICU we dont do anything special, neos use betadine on the cord when they place lines. We havent had any problems that I know of in the NICU for cord infections. We dont do tub baths in at all, only sponge baths, so bathing is not an issue.
  7. by   dawngloves
    We gave up alcohol 5 years ago. We swab umbilical lines with betadine q shift.
  8. by   prmenrs
    We don't put anything on it, educate parents on s/s of oomphalitis, keep diapers off. Sponge bath only til it's off and stump is completely healed.
  9. by   sofiam
    We do tub baths with the cord still on.After the bath we put 70 alcool .
  10. by   Mimi2RN
    Until lately, our orders Have said "alcohol PRN". The new protocol came out "alcohol with diaper changes". I think someone needs a little education. Protocols like that are seem to be written by people who are not familiar with the latest studies, and have little clinical experience.

    In my experience, my grandbabies' parents were told to watch for redness/drainage, and no tx of any kind. Their cords both came off quickly and easily. On the other hand, I've talked to nurses who have diligently used alcohol to their own babies cords, and they have lasted for 6 weeks!
  11. by   wensday
    We use chlorhexadine powder with cares (usually 8hourly nappy, linen, suction or whatever) and never see any redness or signs of local infection.
  12. by   larelsail
    We don't use anything to "clean" the cord...We give tub baths with the cord still on...don't swab umbilical lines (except, of course, when placed)...and our babies have lovely cords!
  13. by   kidznurse
    Quote from sofiam
    HI!
    I my unit we use alcool 70 once a day, after the bath, but ive been reading some contradiction literature... Some says to dont apply anything, others to apply iodopovidone, clorhexidine, ...
    Wthats your experience on this?
    And when they have umbilical catethers with briges,do you apply anything?
    We used to use iodine but then were told a few years ago that due to absorption bad for prem thyroids.
  14. by   kidznurse
    The roting process of a cord is slowed by pickling them with antiseptics and alcohol. Recently following up newborns in the community I have had to treat some very large umbilical granuloma with silver nitrate. I think there is a correlation with use of plastic coated disposable nappies and warm humid weather we are currently having. i would be tempted to go back to treating moist cords with alcohol to prevent granuloma.

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