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Coscia A, Boscarino G, Di Chiara M, Faccioli F, Pedicino R, Onestà E, Giancotti A, Di Donato V, Ronchi B, Zantonelli F, Russo A, Mezzapiastra C, Terrin G. Umbilical cord medication in healthy full-term newborns: a before-after uncontrolled quality improvement study. Eur J Pediatr. 2021 Feb;180(2):505-511. doi: 10.1007/s00431-020-03889-w. Epub 2020 Dec 7. PMID: 33284418.

Umbilical cord care can be a stressful practice for parents. Complications of cord care can increase neonatal morbidity and mortality. The extracts of Arnica montana (AM) have been reported to possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and immunomodulatory activities. We aim to demonstrate the efficacy of AM on cord detachment and parents’ stress level induced by cord medication in healthy full-term newborns. We enrolled full-term infants with a birth weight ≥ 2500 g in healthy conditions. Cord stumps of infants in the PRE-group were cleaned and dried, while cord stumps of infants in the POST-group were cleaned, dried, and medicated with a natural topic dermo-protective powder containing AM. After discharge, we interviewed parents on the stump status during follow-up visits in a pediatric office at 7 and 14 days of life, or by phone calls after follow-up visits. Long-rank test showed that time of cord separation of newborns in the PRE-group was significantly higher compared to that in the POST-group (p < 0.001). Parents of newborns in the PRE-group were significantly more stressed during cord medication compared to parents in the POST-group (2.0 (1.2 to 2.1) vs 1.0 (0.8 to 1.3), p = 0.011). Multivariate analysis showed a significantly linear relation with group assignment for cord separation (p < 0.001) and parents’ stress during the medication (p = 0.033).Conclusion: The use of a natural topic dermo-protective powder containing AM reduces the time of cord separation, improves parents’ stress level, and reduces the risk of complications. What is Known: • Cord stump care can be a stressful practice for parents. • Antiseptic treatment recommended for cord care could be associated with side effects such as burning and sensitization. What is New: • The medication of cord stump with a natural topic dermo-protective powder containing Arnica montana reduces time of cord detachment and of complication such as redness’, bleeding, or secretions. • The use of Arnica montana for cord medication may have a positive impact on the family, reducing parents’ stress, and the use of other medications.

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