Vitamins room substances our body need, i m sorry we get from either the foods we eat or native a multivitamin.Vitamins are typically stored in the body. A human being without enough of a vitamin stored in the body is “vitamin deficient” or has actually a “vitamin deficiency”.

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What is vitamin K and why is that important?

Vitamin K is a substance the our body demands to type clots and also to stop bleeding. We gain vitamin K indigenous the food we eat. Part vitamin K is likewise made through the great bacteria that live in ours intestines. Babies room born v very little amounts the vitamin K stored in their bodies, which have the right to lead to serious bleeding difficulties if no supplemented.

What is Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding or VKDB?

Vitamin K deficiency bleeding or VKDB, occurs when babies cannot stop bleeding due to the fact that their blood does not have enough Vitamin K to form a clot. The bleeding deserve to occur everywhere on the inside or external of the body. When the bleeding occurs within the body, it have the right to be daunting to notice. Commonly, a baby through VKDB will certainly bleed right into his or her intestines, or right into the brain, which deserve to lead to mind damage and also even death. Babies who execute not get the vitamin K shoot at bear can build VKDB at any kind of time approximately 6 month of age. There room three species of VKDB, based upon the age of the baby once the bleeding problems start: early, classical and late. Much more information around these species is included below.


Why room babies more likely to have actually vitamin K deficiency and also to acquire VKDB?

All infants, nevertheless of sex, race, or ethnic background, space at higher risk because that VKDB till they start eating constant foods, generally at age 4-6 months, and until the normal intestinal bacteria begin making vitamin K. This is because:

At birth, babies have very small vitamin K save on computer in your bodies because only little amounts pass to them v the placenta from their mothers.The great bacteria that create vitamin K space not yet current in the newborn’s intestines.Breast milk has low quantities of vitamin K, so solely breastfed babies don’t get sufficient vitamin K from the breast milk, alone.

What deserve to I do to stop my baby from gaining vitamin K deficiency and VKDB?


The great news is that VKDB is quickly prevented by giving babies a vitamin K shot into a muscle in the thigh. One shot provided just after bear will defend your infant from VKDB. In stimulate to administer for prompt bonding and contact in between the newborn and mother, providing the vitamin K shot deserve to be delayed as much as 6 hours after birth.

Is the Vitamin K shot safe?

Yes. Countless studies have shown that vitamin K is safe when given to newborns. For much more information around the safety of the vitamin K shot, please see our FAQ’s.

What might cause babies to be deficient in vitamin K and have bleeding problems?

Some things have the right to put infants at a greater risk for developing VKDB. Babies at higher risk include:

Babies who perform not obtain a vitamin K shot in ~ birth. The hazard is even greater if lock are specifically breastfed.Babies whose mothers used certain medications, prefer isoniazid or medications to treat seizures. This drugs interfere with exactly how the body provides vitamin K.Babies who have actually liver disease; frequently they cannot usage the vitamin K your body stores.Babies who have diarrhea, celiac disease, or cystic fibrosis frequently have trouble soaking up vitamins, including vitamin K, indigenous the foods they eat.

How regularly are babies impacted with vitamin K deficiency bleeding?

Since babies can be impacted until they are 6 months old, health care providers divide VKDB right into three types; early, classical and also late. The chart listed below helps explain these three different types.

Early and also classical VKDB are an ext common, occurring in 1 in 60 come 1 in 250 newborns, back the danger is much greater for early on VKDB amongst those infants whose mothers used particular medications throughout the pregnancy.Types the VKDBType that VKDBWhen the OccursCharacteristics
Early0-24 hrs after birthSevereMainly found in infants whose mother used details medications (like medicines to treat seizures or isoniazid) the interfere with exactly how the body uses vitamin K
Classical1-7 job after birthBruisingBleeding native the umbilical cord
Late2-12 weeks after bear is typical, yet can take place up to 6 months of age in previously healthy and balanced infants30-60% the infants have bleeding within the brainTends to take place in breastfed only babies who have actually not received the vitamin K shotWarning bleeds space rare

What things have to I look because that in my infant if i think the or she might have VKDB?

Unfortunately, in the bulk of situations of VKDB, there are NO WARNING SIGNS prior to a life-threatening event starts. Babies with VKDB could develop any kind of of the complying with signs:

Bruises, especially around the baby’s head and also faceBleeding native the sleep or umbilical cordSkin color that is paler than before. Because that darker skinned babies, the gums may show up paleAfter the first 3 mainly of life, the white parts of her baby’s eyes may turn yellow.Stool that has actually blood in it, is black color or dark and also sticky (also called ‘tarry’), or vomiting bloodIrritability, seizures, too much sleepiness, or a most vomiting might all be signs of bleeding in the brain


1. Zipursky A. Prevention of vitamin K deficiency bleeding in newborns. Br J Haematol 1999;104:430–7.

2. Sutor AH, Kries R, Cornelissen EAM, McNinch AW, Andrew M. Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) in infancy. Thromb Haemost 1999;81:456–61.

3. American Academy of Pediatrics, Vitamin K advertisement Hoc job Force. Controversies concerning vitamin K and also the newborn. Pediatrics 1993;91:1001–3.

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4. McNinch AW, Tripp JH. Haemorrhagic an illness of the child in the british Isles: two year prospective study. BMJ 1991;303:1105–9.

Content source: National center on bear Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for an illness Control and Prevention