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April 18, 1942


JAMA. 1942;118(16):1389. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830160049022

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To the Editor:—  Is administration of vitamin K to the newborn of clinical value? This question has been answered guardedly by Sanford and associates in The Journal of February 28 but confidently by Quick in a communication to The Journal of March 21. The difference of opinion represents the chasm between a clinical and a chemical evaluation of the problem. Not all hemorrhagic manifestations in the newborn are due to acute hypothrombinemia, and not all cases of "hemorrhagic disease of the newborn" are due to diminution in blood prothrombin.The clotting mechanism may be defective in platelets, leading to thrombocytopenic purpura; in platelet function, leading to thrombopathy; in fibrinogen, leading to fibrinogenopenia; in vascular resistance, leading to allergic, infectious or toxic purpura. The clotting mechanism may be normal, and yet bleeding may occur from vascular injury incident to the birth process. In the past, hemorrhagic disease of the newborn was

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