, Volume 146, Issue 4, pp 387-389

The time of separation of the umbilical cord

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The time of separation of the umbilical cord was studied in 911 neonates. The mean time of separation was 7.4 days (SD 3.3, range 1–29 days). We sought a possible relationship between the time of cord separation and various factors in the perinatal period. Cord separation was delayed when antibiotics needed to be administered to the neonate because of sepsis, when the infant was born prematurely, delivered by Caesarean section or had a low birth weight. The cord separated slightly earlier in female than in male infants. None of the infannts studied suffered from omphalitis and it would appear that “delayed” separation of the cord is not always necessarily accompanied by severe leucocyte dysfunction.