Infection of the umbilical cord area

Infection of the Umbilical Cord Area

Infection of the umbilical cord area can be serious and potentially life-threatening for newborn babies. It is important for parents to know the signs and symptoms of an infection and seek medical help if necessary.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Umbilical Cord Infection?

Umbilical cord infections usually present with a red, swollen, tender area around the cord. Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive crying
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pus drainage from the area
  • Discoloration of the cord

If any of these symptoms are present, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to rule out an infection.

What Causes an Umbilical Cord Infection?

Umbilical cord infections are caused by bacteria getting into the area around the cord. This can happen if the cord is not properly cared for during the newborn’s first few days of life. Bacteria can also get into the umbilicus if it is surgically cut or if a wound in the umbilical cord area remains untreated.

How is an Umbilical Cord Infection Treated?

Contact your healthcare provider if you think your baby may have an umbilical cord infection. The doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. It is important to finish the antibiotic course even if the baby is feeling better. To help prevent infection, the umbilical cord should be kept clean and dry. Parents should also avoid pulling on the cord or wrapping it tightly in clothing.