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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.


Content Sources
Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn). Stanford Children’s Hospital. Accessed November 25th, 2018

Facts about Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding. Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. Accessed November 25th, 2018

Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn). CHOP. Accessed November 25th, 2018

September 17, 2019 | 4:40 30    By oohs N coos    

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