This is a retrospective study of the epidemiology, clinical features, laboratory findings, treatment and outcome of haemorrhagic disease in 42 Kelantanese infants who were admitted to Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia during a 2-year period (1987-1988). Classical haemorrhagic disease of the newborn was the commonest presentation (48%), followed by early onset (29%) and late onset (24%) disease. Home deliveries accounted for 81% of the affected infants. Most of these babies were not given vitamin K at birth in contrast to those delivered in hospitals. All except one infant were breastfed. The six commonest presenting clinical features were pallor, jaundice, umbilical cord bleeding, tense fontanelle, convulsions and hepatomegaly. All the infants had prolonged prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times which were corrected by administration of vitamin K. Subdural haemorrhage was the commonest form of intracranial haemorrhage, followed by subarachnoid haemorrhage. The overall case fatality rate was 14%. The results of this study once again emphasize the value of vitamin K prophylaxis in the newborn.
PIP: A retrospective study of 42 newborns who were admitted to the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia for spontaneous bleeding and prolonged prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times during 1987-1988 was conducted to determine the epidemiology, clinical features, laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome of hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN). The infants came from households in the rural state of Kelantan. In Kelantan, the estimated overall annual incidence of severe HDN was 1/1900 live births. None of the infants had bleeding due to inherited coagulopathy or disseminated intravascular coagulation. The categories of HDN were classical HDN (48%), early onset HND (29%), and late onset HND (24%). The most frequent clinical manifestations of HDN were pallor, jaundice, umbilical cord bleeding, tense fontanelle, convulsions, and hepatomegaly. 81% of the infants were delivered at home. Only 7 infants received vitamin K at birth. Anemia was common, especially in cases with massive intracranial bleeds. Most intracranial hemorrhages were subdural hemorrhages. The mothers of all infants, except one, breast fed. All infants received intravenous vitamin K at an initial dose of 1-5 mg/daily, which returned the prolonged prothrombin time and partial prothrombin time to normal. 33 infants recovered completely. One infant with classical HDN was mentally retarded and had hydrocephalus. Another infant also with classical HDN was mentally retarded. The overall case fatality rate was 14%. The case fatality rate for late HDN was 30%. These findings stress the importance of vitamin K prophylaxis in the newborn.