What is VKDB and how can it be prevented in newborns?

Coleen  Boyle, PhD, MS
Public Health & General Preventive Medicine
Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) is a serious, but preventable bleeding disorder that can cause bleeding in the brain. A dose of vitamin K at birth prevents VKDB. 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.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. Untreated, this can cause bleeding in the brain, which may lead to neurological problems and can even be fatal.

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