Cochrane Summaries

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Prophylactic vitamin K for vitamin K deficiency bleeding in neonates

Puckett RM, Offringa M
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

Vitamin K injection can prevent hemorrhagic disease of the newborn. Vitamin K helps the blood to clot but the body's capacity to store it is very low. Hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN) is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin K in newborns and results in life-threatening bleeding in an infant in the first hours to months of life. Classic HDN occurs on days one to seven and late HDN occurs from week two to 12. Some Vitamin K comes from the placenta but it is not always enough. The review of randomized trials found that a single injection of Vitamin K prevents classic HDN.