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An umbilical infection (omphalitis) is frequent in de neonatal period. The infection usually presents as a relatively mild cellulitis. However, in rare cases omphalitis has a complicated course. A 20-day-old infant was referred to our Emergency Department with a fever and red umbilicus. Our diagnosis was "omphalitis" and after taking cultures we started with flucloxacillin and gentamicin intravenously. Upon clinical deterioration, we added ceftazidime and performed an ultrasound of the abdomen. A urachal remnant was found. The umbilical swab was positive for Staphylococcus aureus, which we treated with flucloxacillin monotherapy until the infiltrate disappeared on ultrasound. A patient with an omphalitis should be referred to the pediatrician. Clinical admission, obtaining cultures and starting antibiotic treatment is necessary. A large number of health care providers are involved in the care during the neonatal period. Therefore, broad knowledge about prevention and early identification of this disease is important.


Tim P Kelder, Kristel M van Asselt, Ana NavasCaƱete, Leontien B van der Aa, Emmeline P Buddingh, Judith S Renes. An infant with a complicated infection of the umbilicus]. Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde. 2022 May 04;166

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PMID: 35736383

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