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Newborn and Infant Care

Vitamin k



What are the side effects of the vitamin k injection given to baby after delivery?


Vitamin K (Phytonadione, AquaMephyton) is given to newborns shortly after birth to prevent hemorrhagic disease of the newborn. Vitamin K is essential for the formation of clotting factors II, VII, IX, and X. Vitamin K is absorbed through the intestines through bacteria. At the time of birth the intestines are sterile (no bacteria is present). Until the baby is several days old there is no Vitamin K absorption.

Currently Vitamin K is administered through an intramuscular injection into the thigh of the newborn. Side effects from the injection include pain and edema at the site of injection. Additionally an allergic reaction may occur. (rash or swelling). Vitamin K administration is recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

If you have more specific question about the use of Vitamin K be sure to consult the health care provider of your child.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati