Omphalitis and Concurrent Serious Bacterial Infection

Ron L. Kaplan, Andrea T. Cruz, Stephen B. Freedman, Kathleen Smith, Julia Freeman, Roni D. Lane, Kenneth A. Michelson, Richard D Marble, Leah K. Middelberg, Kelly R. Bergmann, Constance McAneney, Kathleen A. Noorbakhsh, Christopher Pruitt, Nipam Shah, Oluwakemi Badaki-Makun, David Schnadower, Amy D. Thompson, Mercedes M. Blackstone, Thomas J. Abramo, Geetanjali SrivastavaUsha Avva, Margaret Samuels-Kalow, Oihane Morientes, Nirupama Kannikeswaran, Pradip P. Chaudhari, Jonathan Strutt, Cheryl Vance, Elizabeth Haines, Kajal Khanna, James Gerard, Lalit Bajaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Describe the clinical presentation, prevalence of concurrent serious bacterial ab infection (SBI), and outcomes among infants with omphalitis. METHODS: Within the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Collaborative Research Committee, 28 sites reviewed records of infants #90 days of age with omphalitis seen in the emergency department from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2017. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, treatment, and outcome data were summarized. RESULTS: Among 566 infants (median age 16 days), 537 (95%) were well-appearing, 64 (11%) had fever at home or in the emergency department, and 143 (25%) had reported fussiness or poor feeding. Blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid cultures were collected in 472 (83%), 326 (58%), and 222 (39%) infants, respectively. Pathogens grew in 1.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3%–2.5%) of blood, 0.9% (95% CI, 0.2%–2.7%) of urine, and 0.9% (95% CI, 0.1%–3.2%) of cerebrospinal fluid cultures. Cultures from the site of infection were obtained in 320 (57%) infants, with 85% (95% CI, 80%–88%) growing a pathogen, most commonly methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (62%), followed by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (11%) and Escherichia coli (10%). Four hundred ninety-eight (88%) were hospitalized, 81 (16%) to an ICU. Twelve (2.1% [95% CI, 1.1%–3.7%]) had sepsis or shock, and 2 (0.4% [95% CI, 0.0%–1.3%]) had severe cellulitis or necrotizing soft tissue infection. There was 1 death. Serious complications occurred only in infants aged <28 days. CONCLUSIONS: In this multicenter cohort, mild, localized disease was typical of omphalitis. SBI and adverse outcomes were uncommon. Depending on age, routine testing for SBI is likely unnecessary in most afebrile, well-appearing infants with omphalitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021054189
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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