Objective: To compare three methods of vitamin K prophylaxis for neonatal vitamin K deficient intracranial haemorrhage.
Design: We designed three strategies for vitamin K prophylaxis: 1. therapeutic administration of vitamin K in a mass screening system using the hepaplastin test; 2. routine oral administration of vitamin K to newborn infants; and 3. administration of vitamin K to lactating mothers during the late neonatal period in addition to the routine method. We evaluated the efficacy of these methods by determining hepaplastin test values at the first month of age.
Population: 66,076 full term healthy newborn infants without any complications.
Results: Of 55,513 infants in the mass screening system, 3068 infants received vitamin K therapeutically. At the first month of age, in the group where vitamin K was administered therapeutically, 56 infants (1.83%) exhibited low hepaplastin test values (< 40%) despite vitamin K administration. But extremely low values (< 20%), indicating a very high risk of neonatal intracranial haemorrhage, were observed in 34 (0.06%) of 52,445 infants who did not receive vitamin K. In the routine administration system, oral administration of vitamin K twice within the first week of life showed a lower incidence (0.19%) of low level cases than a single administration (1.56%). An additional administration of vitamin K to lactating mothers throughout the late neonatal period showed an effective result.