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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 22/29, 2014

Why Do Parents Decline Vitamin K for Their Newborns?

JAMA. 2014;311(4):351. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285355

A public health investigation in Nashville, Tennessee, is aimed at learning why some parents don’t want their newborns to receive a vitamin K injection, which is given routinely to prevent coagulopathy.

The investigation was spurred by 4 cases of late vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) reported between February and September 2013. Vitamin K deficiency bleeding is classified as early, developing within 24 hours of birth; classic, which occurs between 24 hours and 7 days of life; or late, which develops in infants aged 2 to 24 weeks. Because only a limited amount of vitamin K crosses the placenta, infants are predisposed to develop VKDB.