Appropriateness of Use of an Antimicrobial (Betadine) versus Dry Cord Care in Newborns from an Urban Slum
Ashwin Borade, Anuradha Khadilkar, Neeta Hanumante, Sandesh Runwal
Growth and Pediatric Endocrine Unit, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, India
Abstract

Background: The umbilical cord is the first site of bacterial colonization in the newborn and current cord care practices include aseptic techniques in cutting the cord, meticulous hand washing by health professionals and placement of the cord outside the diaper area.The need for continued treatment of the cord stump in developing countries such as India has not been widely studied.

Aims: To compare outcome of povidone iodine application versus dry umbilical cord care. Secondary objective was to study local cord care practices in an urban slum in Pune, India.

Settings and Design: A case-control study carried out at hospital.

Materials and Methods: For this pilot study, 200 consecutive healthy full term babies born in hospital to mothers residing in an urban slum were enrolled. Povidone iodine was applied to the cord in 100 babies while 100 babies received dry cord core. Statistical Analysis: All the statistical analyses were performed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS Inc.,Chicago,USA) version 11.0 for Microsoft Windows.


Results: Two babies (2.1%) in each group showed signs of omphalitis, average age when the cord separated was earlier in the non-treatment than in the treatment group (p= 0.0). Among the various home based cord care practices, oil application was the most prevalent (34% treatment group; 43.6% non-treatment group).


Conclusion: Natural drying is an economical and safe method for cord care for babies born in hospitals with no greater incidence of infection, even though they may be going home to a slum environment.
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