Are Pediatricians Complicit in Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding?

Melissa Weddle, Allison Empey, Eric Crossen, Aaron Green, Joy Green, Carrie A Phillipi
Pediatrics 2015, 136 (4): 753-7
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all newborns receive a single dose of intramuscular vitamin K to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding. How should the clinician respond when parents decline vitamin K? Although vitamin K deficiency bleeding can have devastating sequelae, they are uncommon; therefore, parents are generally allowed to decline vitamin K after counseling is provided. When parents ask for a vitamin K preparation of unproven effectiveness, should the clinician honor that request? To address these questions, we present a case of a healthy newborn whose parents declined intramuscular vitamin K and requested an oral preparation. Two general pediatricians discuss the medical and ethical issues these situations pose, and the parents describe their experience.

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