The recent and devastating trend of shunning vaccines has become an area of significant concern for physicians. Now they claim that parents must pay heed to another vital aspect – shots of Vitamin K for their newborns.
As DeeAnne Jackson, M.D., Medical Director of the UAB Hospital Newborn Nursery and Associate Professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, puts it, forgoing these shots could lead to extremely dire consequences, including internal bleeding in the intestines and brain.
Trend Of Saying ‘No’ To Vitamin Shots
Dr Jackson stated that newborns had been receiving booster shots of vitamin K since 1961, which helped prevent any occurrences of internal bleeding.
“These injections are vital, since babies have very low levels of vitamin K at birth. This can cause serious bleeding problems supplementary doses are not provided. It is an essential nutrient that babies require to help the body in blood clot formation”.
Very recently, certain parents have started shunning these shots in addition to the trend of saying no to vaccinations. Latest occurrences in Ohio and Tennessee, where newborns were not given shots of vitamin K, alerted primary healthcare workers and physicians to highlight the importance of this regime and educate the parents.
Detrimental Effects Of Refusing Vitamin K Booster Shots
In 2013, a hospital in Nashville reported several cases of bleeding following a vitamin K deficiency. These incidents were a direct consequence of newborns not receiving booster shots of vitamin K at birth. Of the seven cases that occurred in eight months, five infants suffered from gastrointestinal or brain bleeding; this could result in permanent brain damage and even death.
Upon further investigation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was discovered that 28 percent of the parents who gave birth at private birthing centers in Nashville refused to have their babies injected with vitamin K.
In a latest issue of the Journal of Emergency Medicine, doctors in Ohio reported a case of a 10-week-old experiencing bleeding around the brain after parents refused injections of both, vitamin K and hepatitis B vaccine. After noticing spots of blood in the baby’s stool, the parents rushed the child to the emergency room. Thankfully, physicians were able to manage the bleeding around the brain with infusions of vitamin K before any severe permanent damage could be done.
Message To Parents
Dr Jackson encourages all parents to discuss any inhibitions and concerns they may have regarding vaccination and booster injections of vitamin K with their pediatricians and physicians.
“I would persuade parents who may be reluctant about vitamin K shots or vaccines to initiate these conversations before their baby’s delivery, so that they can learn more about the importance of administering these treatments ahead of time. Don’t wait to see if your baby needs a vitamin K shot after birth; delaying medical care can cause serious, even life-threatening consequences”, concluded Dr Jackson.