Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding Differential Diagnoses

Updated: May 20, 2019
  • Author: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Santina A Zanelli, MD  more...
  • Print

Diagnostic Considerations

Important considerations

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

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

If parents refuse vitamin K prophylaxis, document the discussion of the risks and benefits, along with the parents' refusal in the medical record of the infant. [26]

Special considerations

Many online sources have information that oppose vitamin K prophylaxis for newborn infants. Misinformation is generally related to concerns about 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. However, prenatal and intrapartum education should cover the subject. The education should address the negative claims about vitamin K on the Internet as well as 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