Critical Evaluation Evidence Practice.

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An Investigation into the use of cord treatments on the newborns umbilical cord and the reduction of infection.


Kathrine Hill Student Health Visitor.

Bolton University. 2014.

Word count: 3720.

An investigation into the use of cord treatments on the new-borns umbilical cord and the reduction of infection. A Literature Review.

The purpose of this literature review is to examine the evidence surrounding umbilical cord care in the new-born and what part the use of topical treatments play (if any) in the reduction of infection to the new-born infant.
The umbilical cord is a unique tissue consisting of two arteries and one vein. Wharton’s jelly surrounds the vessels. During pregnancy the umbilical cord assists the placenta by transporting nutrients and waste products to and from the fetus. (Fraser, M. et al 2009). Following delivery of the neonate the cord goes through a process were it dries out, hardens and turns black. The area goes through a process of colonization due to non-pathogenic organisms that pass from mum to baby via skin to skin contact following delivery. The umbilical vessels remain patent for several days following birth and are a susceptible site for infection. Potentially harmful organisms can be spread by cross infection, often caused by poor hand washing techniques of Healthcare workers and the infant’s carers. (Davies, S. 2008).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports each year one third of neonatal deaths worldwide (1.5 Million) are due to infection, many of which begin as umbilical cord infection. (Cappuro, H. 2004). Current guidelines for umbilical cord care differ enormously from country to country and establishment to establishment, and most of the current literature surrounding umbilical cord practices indicates practice is based on historical assumptions rather than research…...

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