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A 29-year-old member asked:

Why do they give extra vitamin k to babies?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics 32 years experience
Prevent bleeding: An injection of vitamin k is given to newborns shortly after birth to prevent "'vitamin k deficiency bleeding". This serious bleeding condition would occur in 0.3-1.7/100 babies without the vitamin k shot. Newborns do not have much vitamin k when they are born because it does not pass easily through the placenta and newborn livers are not able to store it well.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Prevent stroke: Babies are K deficient at birth and take about 8-10 days before their level comes up naturally to allow proper clotting. The manipulation of the baby through the birth canal or extraction via c-section can predispose the brain to reflect birth trauma as a brain bleed. No extra K= more babies with brain damage.Simple solution to a rare but significant problem.

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Last updated May 11, 2017

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