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Article
June 1983

Vitamin K Deficiency and Breast-feeding

Author Affiliations

Methodist Hospital Indianapolis

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(6):601-602. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140320077020
Abstract

Hemorrhagic disease of the newborn was described in 1894 by Townsend.1 It occurs in the first week of life, independent of trauma, anoxia, or infection, and appears to be a self-limiting condition if unassociated with life-threatening hemorrhage. It is caused by vitamin K deficiency, which has been reported in several infants 4 to 8 weeks old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all newborns receive 0.5 to 1 mg of phytonadione, an aqueous colloidal suspension.2 With the increase in alternative birthing and breast-feeding, this recommendation needs to be reemphasized.

Report of Cases.—Case 1.—A 5-week-old infant had seizures and apnea after 24 hours of increasing irritability and poor feeding. He was born after a 42-week uncomplicated pregnancy to a gravida 2, para 1 mother with a "self-trained midwife" assisting at the uncomplicated home delivery. Birth weight was 3.9 kg. He did not receive vitamin K or

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