Vitamin K prophylaxis and vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) in early infancy

Acta Paediatr. 1992 Sep;81(9):655-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1992.tb12326.x.


The efficacy of vitamin K prophylaxis (1 mg im or sc, or 1-2 mg orally both given as a single dose at birth) in the prevention of vitamin K deficiency bleeding in early infancy was estimated in Germany during a 15-month period between 1988 and 1989. Cases were identified by a survey of all paediatric hospitals and population denominators by a survey of all obstetric hospitals. Response rates were 85% and 68%, respectively. Thirteen cases of vitamin K deficiency bleeding in early infancy with confirmed prophylactic states were confirmed, seven of whom had intracranial haemorrhage. The estimated efficacy of single parenteral administration of vitamin K versus no prophylaxis was 96.7% (95% confidence interval: 74-99.6%) and for single oral administration versus no prophylaxis 80.4% (9.1-95.6%). Single parenteral vitamin K prophylaxis gave substantial protection against vitamin K deficiency bleeding in early infancy. Single oral prophylaxis appeared to be less effective, although the difference was not significant, as indicated by the wide overlap of the respective 95% confidence intervals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin K / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin K / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin K Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin K Deficiency / prevention & control*
  • Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding / etiology
  • Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding / prevention & control*


  • Vitamin K