Background and Aim There is still controversy regarding the optimal umbilical cord care and the relationship between cord separation and omphalitis. The aim of our study is to investigate the impact of different umbilical cord care practices on the cord seperation time and omphalitis.
Methods We included 514 newborns and randomly randomized them into six groups (Group 1: dry care (n:72); groups 2 (n:69), groups 3 (n:69) and 4 (n:76): a single application of 70% alcohol, 4% chlorhexidine or povidon-iodine in the delivery room, groups 5 (n:73) and 6 (n:62): a single application of 70% alcohol or 4% chlorhexidine in the delivery room and continued until discharge) and 421 of them completed the study. Umbilical cord was examined on the 2nd day and between 5–7 days of life for the signs of omphalitis. Babies were followed up for one month and cord seperation time was recorded.
Results Cord separation time was the shortest for group one (6.40 ±1.36 day) and the longest for groups 3 and 6 (9.57±3.12 days and 9.58±4.07 days) (p<0.001). Omphalitis was detected in eight patients (1.9%) and there was no significant difference between the groups. There was no relationship between umbilical cord separation time and incidence of umbilical cord infection (p>0.05).
Conclusion Our study showed that the mean time of cord separation was significantly shorter (6.40±1.36 days) in the dry cord care group and the longest in both chlorhexidine groups. However, cord seperation time did not have an impact on the rate of omphalitis.