What is hemorrhagic disease of the newborn?

Also known as: hemorrhagic disease of the newborn, VKDB.

Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting (coagulation); particularly being associated with coagulation factors V11, 1X, and X. When there is a lack of Vit k blood doesn't clot and bleeding results.

In the newborn baby depending on the cause of the vitamin deficiency, bleeding time after birth can vary quite widely (mostly however between the ages of 1-5 days).

Bleeding after birth is usually classified into 3 distinct time periods.

  • Early-onset deficiency bleeding occurring during the first 24 hours.
  • Classical vit k deficiency with bleeding 24 hours, to up to 1 week after birth.
  • Late-onset vit k deficiency bleeding usually occurring between 2 - 12 weeks after birth.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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