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Hemorrhagic Disease of Newborn Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
Updated: Jan 02, 2016

Diagnostic ConsiderationsImportant considerationsSpecial considerations

Most hospital nurseries include vitamin K administration in standing admission orders. A newborn's hospital chart should have a specific place for documentation of dose and administration.

Failure to provide vitamin K at birth and subsequent bleeding presents a legal liability for physicians and hospitals.

If parents refuse prophylaxis, document the discussion of the risks and benefits along with the parents' refusal in the medical record of the infant.[21]

Many Websites have information that oppose vitamin K prophylaxis for newborn infants. Misinformation is related to an increased risk of cancer, toxicity from additives, and even an increased risk of autism. Many parents do not have balanced information regarding the benefits of vitamin K versus the limited risk of side effects. Prenatal and intrapartum education should cover the subject. The education should address the negative claims about vitamin K on the Internet and discuss scientific studies that show the claims cannot be substantiated. The benefits of vitamin K should be emphasized.

See the resource links provided in Patient Education for more information regarding vitamin K.

Differential Diagnoses

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Michael P Sherman, MD, FAAP Professor, Department of Child Health, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine; Neonatologist, Women’s and Children’s Hospital; Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine

Michael P Sherman, MD, FAAP is a member of the following medical societies: American Pediatric Society, American Society for Microbiology, American Thoracic Society, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, European Society for Paediatric Research, Western Society for Pediatric Research, Perinatal Research Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Immunologists, Society for Pediatric Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

David A Clark, MD Chairman, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Albany Medical College

David A Clark, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Medical Society of the State of New York, New York Academy of Sciences, Society for Pediatric Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Ted Rosenkrantz, MD Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Ted Rosenkrantz, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, Eastern Society for Pediatric Research, American Medical Association, Connecticut State Medical Society, Society for Pediatric Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Oussama Itani, MD, FAAP, FACN Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development, Michigan State University; Medical Director, Department of Neonatology, Borgess Medical Center

Oussama Itani, MD, FAAP, FACN is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Physician Leadership, American Heart Association, American College of Nutrition

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors appreciate the review of this article and helpful suggestions for improvement from Professor Daniel Batton, the Director of the Neonatology Division at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

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Vitamin K cycle.
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