Kids MD - Navel Infection (ER Story) - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/13/04

Kids MD - Navel Infection (ER Story)

Robert Seith | CWK Network

“We couldn’t rule out that he had a serious infection that entered his body through his navel.”
- Dr. Kathleen Nelson, professor of pediatrics -

Miguel is only 2 weeks old, and he is healthy except for one little thing. “Well, his belly button came off, and then it’s got a lot of pus around it, and he was just crying and crying,” says his mom Christina Gonzales.

His umbilical stump fell off but there’s a lot of pus, and the area seems inflamed. “It looks like it is a little red now,” says Dr. Kathleen Nelson.

Miguel has been fussy and has had trouble sleeping lately, all of which confirms the diagnosis: His belly button is infected. The question is, has the infection spread?

“Babies within the first month of life are not very resistant to infection. And this is an open spot that infection can easily enter the bloodstream,” says Dr. Nelson. She goes on to explain to Mrs. Gonzales, “There’s a little bit of danger that it could spread into the bloodstream. And if it goes in the bloodstream, it could land in the lung, it can land in the kidney, it can land in the spinal fluid.”

So they put Miguel on antibiotics, and he’ll have to stay the night for observation. The next morning Dr. Nelson comes to check on the progress. “Hello how are you today?” she says, looking at Miquel.

“Did he fuss much last night?” asks Dr. Nelson. “No, he slept very good,” says Mrs. Gonzales. The antibiotics are working. The redness around the belly button is gone, “and it looks like it’s not draining very much at all,” observes Dr. Nelson.

He will spend one more day in the hospital to make sure the infection doesn’t spread, and after that, Miguel’s mom needs to clean his belly button every day. “Use alcohol close to the stump of the drying umbilical cord to … keep it clean and also to help it dry up and fall off,” says Dr. Nelson.

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