6.4.2 What are the signs of an infected umbilical cord stump?
If any signs of an infected umbilical cord stump are present, refer the newborn to the hospital or health centre. Do not use antibiotic powder. Do not put aspirin or other home remedies on the cord.
Look at the umbilicus: is it red or draining pus? Infection of the umbilical cord stump presents with the following danger signs:
- An offensively smelling cord with a discharge of pus.
- A cord that remains wet and soft and is not drying properly.
- Redness of the skin around the base of the cord.
With good preventative cord care, infection of the umbilical cord should not occur. Prevention consists of proper hand washing, good personal hygiene of the mother and the baby, using clean sterile thread to tie the cord and sterile instruments to cut it, and keeping the cord stump clean and dry.