Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding
Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) is a bleeding problem that occurs in some newborns during the first few days of life. It was previously called hemorrhage disease of the newborn.
A deficiency in vitamin K is the main cause of this condition. Babies are normally born with low levels of vitamin K, an essential factor in blood clotting .
Who is at risk ?
VKDB may occur in a small percentage of babies. Babies at risk of developing this condition include the following :
- Babies who do not receive preventive vitamin K in an injection at birth.
- Babies who are exclusively breastfed.
- Babies whose mothers take anticonvulsants (for seizures) and anticoagulants (for clotting disorders) .
Without the clotting factor, bleeding occurs and severe bleeding or hemorrhage can occur.
What are the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency bleeding ?
Each baby is different and may experience symptoms differently. However the most common symptoms include the following :
- Blood in the baby’s bowel movement.
- Blood in the baby’s urine .
- Oozing around the umbilical cord.
These symptoms may resemble that of other medical conditions. It is always important to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis. The doctor will perform a physical exam . The diagnosis will be based on signs of bleeding and laboratory tests for blood clotting times.
What is the treatment for VKDB ?
The specific treatment will be determined by the doctor. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving every newborn baby an injection of vitamin K after childbirth , as well as supplementing feedings with infant formulas that contain vitamin K to prevent this condition.
Blood transfusion may also be necessary if bleeding is severe.
Facts about Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding. Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/vitamink/facts.html. Accessed November 25th, 2018
Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn). CHOP. https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/vitamin-k-deficiency-bleeding-hemorrhagic-disease-newborn. Accessed November 25th, 2018