Medical centers reporting increase of Vitamin K deficiency

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
Some parents are refusing Vitamin K injections for their infants. Doctors aren

By the time Baby Pete arrived, his mother Lisa Dvorak knew what she was doing - she already has four-year-old Shelby and two-year-old Tilly.

(NBC) - Medical centers across the country are reporting an increase of Vitamin K deficiency.

It's serious - in some cases deadly - and completely avoidable.

Some parents are refusing Vitamin K injections for their infants.

Doctors aren't sure why parents are skipping it, but they say it's a growing concern.

By the time Baby Pete arrived, his mother Lisa Dvorak knew what she was doing - she already has four-year-old Shelby and two-year-old Tilly.

She knew to ask a lot of questions and get as much information as possible.

That's why she read up on Vitamin K, a standard shot that's given to newborns.

"Once I read about the repercussions of not having it, i thought 'Yeah, I have to have the Vitamin K shot, of course,'" said Dvorak.

Doctors have been administering the shot since 1961. They say infants risk internal bleeding if they don't get it.

"Some babies, after birth, just happen not to get colonized with the right bacteria," said Pediatrician Barnaby Starr. "This can cause them to bleed when the cord falls off, or cause stroke when they cry at the age of four to six weeks."

Starr can't understand why all of a sudden parents are refusing the injection.

It could be vaccination, fears, or rumors - but he says it's not science and it's not safe.

Many doctors will tell you part of the problem is too many parents are relying on the internet and not on their pediatrician. There's so much information out there and you don't know where it's coming from.

Dvorak admits to being sucked into everything that's at her finger tips.

"I came across this - a blog that said don't get the Vitamin K shot, and I was reading all these horrible things about the Vitamin K shot, and then I went to another website that was a medical website and none of it was true, and I thought 'This is so irresponsible,' came across another one that," said Dvorak.

She talked to a pediatrician, asked questions, and that's exactly what they say you should do.

Many parents are confused and think that the shot is a vaccine.

Vitamin K is needed for the blood to clot and low levels of it can cause rare but serious bleeding problems.

Doctors say most Vitamin K shots given to newborns are preservative-free and the only side effect is the pain of the injection.


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