Aim: To evaluate oral vitamin K prophylaxis at birth by giving 2 mg phytomenadione, followed by weekly oral vitamin K prophylaxis; 1 mg was administered by the parents until 3 mo of age.
Methods: A total of 507850 live babies were born in Denmark during the study period, November 1992 to June 2000. Of these infants, 78% and 22% received oral and intra-muscular prophylaxis, respectively; i.e. about 396000 neonates received oral prophylaxis at birth. Weekly oral prophylaxis was recommended for all infants as long as they were mainly breastfed. A survey of possible cases of vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) was carried out by repeated questionnaires to all Danish paediatric departments and by checking the National Patient Register.
Results: No cases of VKDB were revealed, i.e. the incidence was 0-0.9:100000 (95% CI). The questionnaires were used to evaluate compliance with the regimen. Parents of 274 infants participated. A dose of vitamin K was regarded as having been given if the infant received a drop of vitamin K or was mostly formula-fed that week, and the prophylaxis was regarded as completed if the infant had received at least 9 doses. Compliance was good, with 94% of the infants completing the course of prophylaxis.
Conclusion: Weekly oral vitamin K supplementation during the first 3 mo of life was an efficient prophylaxis against VKBD. Parental compliance with the regimen was good.