The cutting of the cord is the first surgical operation to which most human beings are subjected and an operation to which all must submit. The management of the stump during its separation from the body and the care of the ulcer subsequently formed are surgical procedures upon which depend the health and perhaps the life of the infant. If the wound be improperly managed so that infection results the child comes into serious danger. Navel infection is indeed one of the greatest dangers to which the newborn is exposed.
This surgical operation has been done since time immemorial. It must also be performed by the lower animals. It was done for centuries and ages before there were surgical principles to determine its technic. It is done to-day in many, perhaps the majority of cases, by those who have no knowledge of surgical principles.
Yet in some way or other