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

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Describe the clinical presentation, prevalence of concurrent serious bacterial 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
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022


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