DISEASES OF THE NEWLY-BORN.
Ulceration or Bleeding at the Navel.— If the bleeding be from the attached piece of cord it should be tied a second time, nearer the belly. This may occur some hours after birth because the cord has been improperly tied. The clothing should be immediately undone and the cord tied again between the former place and the belly. Four or six strands of linen thread form the best material for the purpose. It may also occur owing to the remains of the cord being too early separated. If so, the bleeding is best stopped by gentle steady pressure with the finger or a small pad. It should not be allowed to continue, else the slow drain may be very hurtful. If the part be not healing properly, it should be carefully sponged frequently, and if necessary may be painted with an astringent like syrup of tannin, or tannate of glycerine.
Inflammation of the Eyes.—One form of inflammation of the eyes of a newly-born child, if not watched with great care, may ruin the child's eyes in the course of a few days, and render the infant incurably blind. It begins usually about" the third or fourth day after birth. The eyelashes stick together, and the borders of the lids are red and crusted. Both eyes are attacked, the one after the other. The lids become swollen, and in a day or two thin fluid pours out from between the lids; the fluid in about a week has changed to matter, with which the eyes are constantly overflowing. The treat ment consists in keeping the eyes scrupulously and constantly clean. Use warm water, and a soft rag or lint : open the eyes thoroughly, turning out the lids, and cleaning away every particle of matter. To the warm water a few drops of Condy's fluid, sufficient to make the water slightly pink, may be added. This must be done not once nor twice daily but very often, so that no matter is allowed to accumulate in the eye.
No ointments should be used. The inflamma tion, however, is of so dangerous a character in its effects upon the sight that no time should he lost in having proper medical treat ment.
is not uncommon during the first or second week of infant life, the skin and white of the eyes becoming quite yellow, and the stools colourless. It is not to be feared. Usually no remedies are required. It will pass off often as quickly as it came. If it is excessive give a small dose of castor-oil only.
Jaundice due to absence of bile-ducts is noted on p. 594.
Swelling of the Breasts.—This is not in frequent in newly-born children. The breasts are firm and tense, and occasionally fluid like milk oozes from them. They should not be squeezed or pressed in any way. Gentle rubbing with warm oil is often all that is necessary. Where redness or a purplish tinge indicates a more severe form of swelling, a soothing poul tice of warm bread and water should be applied, or a warm sponge held on them each time the child is bathed.
Retention of Urine and Stools.—This may be caused by some defect already alluded to (p. 593). The nurse is never, by any means, to give "nitre" in the hope of causing the child to make water. She may use a warm bath, or place warm cloths over the lower part of the belly, and that usually will be sufficient. The attention of Old medical attendant should be directed to the child if this is insufficient.
Undeseended Testiele.—The testicle should pass from the belly, down a canal in the groin, into the scrotum or bag, about a month befort birth.