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Umbilical Granulomas are Just a Pinch of Salt Hot

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Area Classification

Community Care / Primary Care

Briefly describe what it is

A clinical incident occurred when an infant with an umbilical granuloma was treated inappropriately by medical staff with silver nitrate and the granuloma developed widespread superficial burns. A review of risks was undertaken and guidelines were developed for the correct application of silver nitrate. From this research evidence was found which had shown salt to be an alternative treatment. A decision was made to carry our trial of this under direction of consultants and with consent from parents. The procedure being to apply small amount of salt twice daily, cover for 30 minutes and wash off.

Were there any key things that you had to do to make it happen?

To research and develop a guideline and protocol for the application of salt to an umbilical granuloma. Other challenges to the project included sceptical families and staff who were not convinced that the salt would work.

Describe (and provide evidence) of the impact on quality of care

Risk avoidance and patient safety are high on the NHS agenda and this project has and can be replicated by any Children's Community Nursing Team, Children's Unit, Midwife or health visitor.Recent audit figures are showing drastic reduction in childrens community Nursing Team visits.

Describe (and provide evidence) of the impact on patient (or staff) experience

This procedure is non-invasive and painless for the infant and does not require frequent visits to the home by the team, resulting in a cost effective method of treating a common problem. Parents continue to be amazed how quickly the salt works and have agreed to be contacted if necessary.

Describe (and provide evidence) of the impact on reducing cost

Results after one year have initially shown that silver nitrate has not been ordered from the pharmacy for the childrens unit or by the team.The team could visit up to six times when applying silver nitrate compared to 1 visit for salt at a cost of £38 per visit

Keywords / Tags

umbilical granuloma application of salt

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