Vitamin K injections are sometimes given to newborns after birth. If the body is not getting enough Vitamin K, excessive bleeding could occur. This could be life threatening, especially if bleeding occurs in the brain.
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is an essential vitamin that is found in broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts. The vitamin helps blood clot, so the body does not experience excessive bleeding. It is also used to treat scars, bruises, burns or stretch marks.
Ingredients in Vitamin K Injections
The shot contains various ingredients that help stop extreme bleeding. Here are the components of the Vitamin K injection:
• Polysorbate 80
• Propylene Glycol
• Sodium Acetate
Why do Babies need Vitamin K?
Babies are automatically born with a Vitamin K deficiency. A newborn’s intestines are sterile; therefore, the body cannot manufacture enough Vitamin K. An injection helps avoid bleeding during the first week of life.
If a baby lacks enough Vitamin K, bleeding could occur within a week after birth. However, some infants experience bleeding up to eight weeks after being born. Breast milk does not contain enough Vitamin K, so babies could be at risk of developing Hemorrhagic disease.
How to Inject the Vitamin
Medical personnel will inject 0.5 to 1 mg of the vitamin into the newborn. It is advisable that the shot be given before the baby is six hours old. Babies could experience trauma during birth; therefore, bleeding could occur. A Vitamin K injection will help control the bleeding. In some cases, babies will need a second injection of Vitamin K; however, premature newborns cannot manage a second dose.
Are Injections Safe?
Studies have shown that Vitamin K shots are completely safe and effective. Some side effects could occur, but the soreness will decrease within a couple of days.
Side Effects of Vitamin K Injections
The chances are small that a baby will experience side effects; however, here are a few side effects that could take place:
• Redness or pain
• Decreased appetite
• Breathing problems
• Enlarged liver
• Flushed face
Do all Babies need the Injection?
You can refuse to take the shot; however, giving Vitamin K orally is not as successful as an injection. If you do not choose to take the injection, your baby is more at risk of having severe health problems.
When to get Medical Attention
If you decide not to get a Vitamin K injection, you need to watch closely for vitamin K deficiency bleeding. If your child experiences any of the following, you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible.
• Bleeding from the nose or umbilical cord
• Nausea or paleness
• Abnormal irritability
Vitamin K injections have been given to newborns since the 1960s. You can decide whether to give your baby the shot; however, you need to know the risks involved if you choose not to give your baby the injection. A Vitamin K injection can help prevent serious, or even life-threatening, conditions; therefore, the shot could save the life of your baby.