Vitamin K deficiency does occur in new-borns.
Vitamin K is a group of structurally related, fat-soluble vitamins the human body needs for complete synthesis of several proteins that are required for blood and which the body also needs for monitoring binding of calcium in bones and other tissues. The main sign of a vitamin K deficiency is extreme bleeding caused by an inability to form blood clots. Vitamin K is found in some plant foods, such as leafy green vegetables, and is also generated by the body. There are numerous causes why new-born babies are more likely to vitamin K deficiency. These are:
• Vitamin K does not transfer well from a mother's placenta to her baby
• Drinking breast milk having low Vitamin K
• Vitamin K-2 is not produced in the first few days of birth in the newborn's gut
• Vitamin K-2 is not used efficiently new-born baby's liver
Foods that are high in vitamin K include green, leafy vegetables, prunes, and fermented dairy products. Vitamin K administered at birth can prevent a deficiency occurring in Neonatal babies. It is usually given as a shot. A vitamin K shot is very necessary for new-borns under specific circumstances.
Risk factors for vitamin K deficiency bleeding include:
• New-borns not given vitamin K at birth breastfed exclusively and exposed to antibiotics
• Babies with mothers consuming anti-seizure drugs, anticoagulants, or drugs for tuberculosis
• Babies that are born prematurely
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