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Vitamin K Shot at Birth -- The Controversy Reignites

Story at-a-glance -

  • Physicians in Vanderbilt have reported seeing a rise in late-onset vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) in young infants
  • The rise is blamed on increasing numbers of parents declining to have their babies receive a vitamin K shot at birth—a routine practice in the US since 1961
  • Standard practice for the last 60 years in the US is to administer an intra-muscular injection of 0.5-1 milligram (mg) of phytonadione, a synthetic vitamin K1 analog, within one hour of birth
  • Phytonadione can cause severe, sometimes fatal, allergic reactions when injected into a muscle or vein and is ideally taken by mouth or injected under the skin
  • While vitamin K is important to prevent brain bleeding in infants, I believe oral administration is a far safer, non-invasive, and more natural way to normalize an infant’s vitamin K levels

By Dr. Mercola

The controversy surrounding vitamin K shots at birth recently surfaced when physicians at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt reported seeing a rise in late-onset vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) in young infants.


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