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Vitamin K shot: Is it safe?

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Lee Health

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During pregnancy parents have a lot of decisions to make, but doctors say when it comes to newborn shots parents should make sure their children have them.

Dr. Pierre Loredo, a pediatrician with Lee Health, says the vitamin K shot is given to babies at birth. “Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. It’s definitely necessary for normal blood clotting.”

Without the vitamin K shot, newborns are susceptible to vitamin K deficiency bleeding. “The symptoms we see with vitamin K deficiency is blood in your urine, blood in your stool, blood in your vomit, and prolonged bleeding after a circumcision,” said Dr. Loredo.

Babies are at risk for bleeding which can lead to brain damage, even death. To prevent vitamin K deficiency, in 1961 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended a one-time vitamin K dose to all children at birth. “Before we used to do the vitamin K shots, about one in 60 kids would have this type of bleeding during the newborn period,” said Dr. Loredo.

Babies have very low vitamin K at birth because only small amounts of the vitamin pass through the placenta. “This is a very, very safe vitamin to give your child to prevent against vitamin K deficiency,” said Dr. Loredo.

It’s important to talk to your doctor about the vitamin K shot before delivery if you have any concerns.


View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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