“Wait... what’s that other shot my baby gets in the nursery?”
What is it? Vitamin K is a nutrient that is vital to help blood clot and to prevent bleeding.
Why is it given? To prevent Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (aka hemorrhagic disease of the newborn). Newborn babies have low stores of Vitamin K and are not able to use the Vitamin K they do have well. VKDB presents from birth to 8 months of age and causes severe bleeding from the mouth, nose, GI tract, and brain. In most babies with VKDB, there are NO warning signs before a life-threatening bleed.
Does it work? YES! The risk of bleeding is 81 times higher in babies who do not get Vitamin K.