Chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care: game-changer for newborn survival?

by Steve Hodgins, YV Pradhan, Leela Khanal
Glob Health Sci Pract, March 2013, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 5-10

6 pp. 400 kB:
http://www.ghspjournal.org/content/1/1/5.full.pdf+html

Sepsis in the first week or two of life is a major cause of newborn deaths. People in many cultures apply substances to the freshly cut cord stump, such as ash, oil, butter, spice pastes, or mud. This and other unhygienic exposures to the fresh wound could well account for a significant proportion of newborn sepsis. Application of chlorhexidine – a commonly used antiseptic – to the umbilical cord stumps of newborns showed statistically significant protective effects against mortality and the authors assume that is has the potential to reduce overall newborn mortality risk by up to 18%.

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