HealthDay News—Dry cord care is noninferior to the use of antiseptics in preventing omphalitis in full-term newborns in France, according to a study published online in Pediatrics.1

Christèle Gras-Le Guen, MD, PhD, from the Universitaire de Nantes in France, and colleagues randomly assigned 6 French university maternity units, including all infants born after 36 weeks’ gestation, to provide either their usual antiseptic care or a dry care umbilical cord method for a 4-month period, and then units switched to the alternate cord cleansing method for a 4-month period.

The researchers found that omphalitis occurred in three of 4293 (0.07%) newborns in the dry care group and in none of the 4404 newborns in the antiseptic care group. There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to late neonatal infection, parental appreciation of difficulty in care, and time to separation of the cord.

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“Antiseptic use in umbilical cord care is therefore unnecessary, constraining, and expensive in high-income countries and may be replaced by dry care,” the authors write.

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  1. Gras-Le Guen C, Caille A, Launay E. Dry care versus antiseptics for umbilical cord care: a cluster randomized trial [Published online December 22, 2016]. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-1857