In 1995, a new form of vitamin K prophylaxis with two oral doses of 2 mg mixed micellar phylloquinone (Konakion MM) on the 1st and 4th day of life was introduced in Switzerland. It was hoped that this new galenic preparation of phylloquinone would protect infants with insufficient or absent bile acid excretion from late vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB). Subsequently, the occurrence of VKDB was monitored prospectively between July 1, 1995 and June 30, 2001 with the help of the Swiss Paediatric Surveillance Unit (SPSU). Over a period of 6 years (475,000 deliveries), there were no cases of early (<24 h of age), one case of classical (2-7 days of life), and 18 cases of late (1-12 weeks) VKDB fulfilling standard case definitions. In 13/18 patients with late VKDB there was pre-existing liver disease and in 4/18 patients, parents had refused prophylaxis. The incidence of late VKDB for infants with completed Konakion MM prophylaxis was 2.31/100,000 (95% CI: 1.16-4.14) and for the entire population 3.79/100,000 (95% CI: 2.24-5.98). There was only one case of late VKDB after complete prophylaxis in an infant without underlying liver disease.
Conclusion: two oral doses of 2 mg of a mixed micellar vitamin K preparation failed to abolish VKDB. The recommendations for vitamin K prophylaxis in Switzerland have therefore been changed to include a third dose at 4 weeks of age. Starting on January 1, 2004, the incidence of vitamin K deficiency bleeding will again be monitored prospectively by the Swiss Paediatric Surveillance Unit.