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article imageNewborns in Tennessee with bleeding disorder

By Tim Sandle     Nov 21, 2013 in Health
The CDC has reported on a cluster of newborns in Tennessee with late vitamin K deficiency bleeding. The number of cases has been highlighted as ‘unusual’.
Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) is a serious, but preventable bleeding disorder that can cause bleeding in the brain. Between February and September, 2013, four cases of late VKDB were diagnosed at a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Three of the infants had bleeding within the brain and the fourth had gastrointestinal bleeding.
In each case, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, each newborn’s parents declined vitamin K injection at birth. Apparently this was because the parents were unaware of the health benefits of vitamin K at birth.
Lauren Marcewicz, MD, EIS officer with CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities is quoted as saying: “Fortunately all of the infants survived. It is important for health professionals to educate parents about the health benefits of vitamin K at birth.”
In the United States, a vitamin K injection at birth has been a standard practice since it was first recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1961. A dose of vitamin K at birth prevents VKDB. The late form of VKDB can develop in infants two weeks to 6 months of age who did not receive the vitamin K injection at birth and do not have enough vitamin K dependent proteins in their bodies to allow normal blood clotting.
More about Newborns, bleeding, Vitamins, Tennessee
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