Baby dies because mother refused newborn vitamin K shot


The cornerstone principle of preventive medicine is that it is better to prevent disease than to to treat it after it has developed. That seems to be a non-controversial principle, except, apparently, in the world of infant and child woo. There the typical response to devastating preventable diseases and injuries is to pretend that they won’t happen.

Homebirth advocates like to pretend that life threatening complications don’t occur in childirth; midwifery proponents like to pretend that there is plenty of time to transfer to physician care when life threatening complications do occur; anti-vaccinationists like to pretend that vaccines are unnecessary, and all of them delight in the fantasy that “good nutrition” and a “strong immune system” are magically protective against everything.

It has become highly fashionable among some Western, white, relatively well off women to refuse standard newborn preventive care, whether that is the Hep B vaccine, neonatal ophthalmic ointment, or vitamin K shots. Proponents of this transgressive behavior like to think that it marks them as independent thinkers. It doesn’t; it marks them as ignorant, gullible and willing to take terrible risks with the lives of their children for no better reason that to preen to themselves and others.

It also marks them as wishful thinkers who pretend that their child will never be exposed to hepatitis B, that their partner would never have an affair and become infected with gonorrhea and that their child’s blood will clot in the absence of adequate vitamin K.

As a result, children die agonizing preventable deaths like this poor infant who sustained massive intracranial bleeding because her mother refused the shot that would have prevented it.

According to the Coroner’s Court:

The baby’s … initial neonatal examination was also normal. In accordance with her parents’ wishes and the birthing plan, she did not receive Vitamin K, nor was she vaccinated for Hepatitis B. Information relating to the vitamin K injection was provided to the parents during their first antenatal visit. The information stated the reasons why vitamin K is recommended, namely that it assists the blood to clot and that newborn babies require it to prevent bleeding problems especially in the first few months after birth. The parents submitted a birth plan, which stated their decision not to have vitamin K administered…

The baby was exclusively breastfed (the major risk factor for vitamin K deficiency) and was doing well. Then:

One month after the birth, the mother noticed that the baby had been sleeping a lot and was not feeding as much as usual. She was noted to cry out at times and then settle. She went to sleep that night, but an hour later, she vomited. In the early hours of the next morning, the mother went to change her nappy and she was seen to be limp. The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) was contacted.

What had happened?

A CT scan … showed widespread subarachnoid haemorrhage and left sided subdural haemorrhage (bleeding on the surface and beneath the dura/lining of the brain). This was causing some effacement of the left ventricle (compression of the cavity within the brain as a result of increased pressure and mass effect). There was also loss of grey/white differentiation of the brain matter, which indicated damage to the brain and widening of the spaces between the skull bones. No fractures were seen. There was haemorrhaging within both eyes, and her pupils were non-reactive.

A blood test called an INR (International Normalised Ratio) was conducted. This test measures the time it takes for blood to clot and compares it to an average, with one being normal and 10 being extremely thin and prone to bleeding. The baby’s measurement was 10.

In other words, the baby had developed hemorrhagic disease of the newborn, the very condition that the vitamin K shot is designed to prevent. As a result, she bled into her head so much and for so long that her brain was compressed and destroyed.

The baby’s condition did not improve overnight or into the next morning. There remained markedly elevated intracranial pressure and her prognosis was considered to be extremely poor. She remained on ventilation over night. Following discussion with her parents, the baby’s life support measures were withdrawn the next morning and she subsequently died.

The baby died a painful, prolonged and entirely senseless death because the person she depended on to protect her, her mother, thought she knew better than the pediatricians for whom vitamin K has been standard prophylaxis for more than 50 years. Why did the mother think she knew better? Because she read it in a book or on a website and it sounded good to her.

Being a parent ought to mean putting a child’s health and brain function before anything else, including the mother’s desire to be transgressive, and even the mother’s distress at her child’s temporary discomfort as a result of an injection. It means taking the advice of experts, not pretending that you are an expert. It means doing whatever you can to prevent the child’s death and disability,not pretending that wishful thinking is a form of preventive care.

363 Responses to “Baby dies because mother refused newborn vitamin K shot”

  1. Addie
    January 1, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    You all realize this idiot lost her license in 2003, right? LOL
    What a piece of work she is ha ha ha. Fortunately, some of us parents have done our own research into the shots and have decided we don’t want to inject them with polysorbate-80, propylene glycol, and more when they haven’t even been in the world for an hour. People like you, Amy, are sad, and nothing more than unfortunate.

    • Gene
      January 1, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

      Ok, I’m a doctor and have a current medical license and am board certified in both pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine. I’m the one who sees hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (not the OB, the pediatrician). Ever seen a new infant bleeding from every orafice, its fontanelle bulging from the pressure inside the skull, skin grey from the sheer volume of blood loss? I have. And I’ll bet YOU haven’t. Because a simple shot PREVENTS a horrific death scene like I’ve described above.

      • susandaytoday
        February 11, 2017 at 7:42 pm #

        I have seen all the autism , sids and cancer caused from the lies you tout using fear to get people to submit to all the chemical poisoning of babies . Chemical poisoning does not save lives .

        • Gene
          February 12, 2017 at 9:06 am #

          Actually, many chemicals have been proven over and over to save millions of lives. And, of course, we are made of chemicals. But I’m sure you mean things like salicylic acid, digitalis, and penicillin. Willow bark tea for fever and pain, foxglove to stimulate the heart, bread mold to kill bacterial infection are natural remedies used for hundreds if not thousands of years. Chemicals, of course. Lovely lovely lifesaving chemicals.

    • Megan
      January 1, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

      “You all realize this idiot lost her license in 2003, right?”

      It’s called retiring. Once you retire, you don’t pay to keep up your license because you are no longer practicing. She didn’t “lose” anything.

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        January 22, 2016 at 7:49 am #

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    • momofone
      January 1, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

      You DID, as in conducted, your own research, or you found things online that confirmed what you already believed and counted that?

    • Box of Salt
      January 2, 2016 at 1:35 am #

      Addie (quoted from below) “this makes me sad for the future”

      Yeah, me too.

      I hope your own children do not suffer from your ignorance.

  2. RevDr. Robert Foster, AbC, EfG
    November 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Proponents of this transgressive behavior like to think that it marks them as independent thinkers. It doesn’t; it marks them as ignorant, gullible and willing to take terrible risks with the lives of their children for no better reason that to preen to themselves and others.

    THIS /

    • Addie
      January 1, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

      Oh Really? Typical. Of course these words are coming from a doctor. Some parents do their proper research, rather than just believing what’s told to us. I don’t understand how you people can sit here and call parents irresponsible for saying NO to injected their 2-minute-old child with god knows how many TOXINS. Sure, it would be different it were solely vit k in those shots… But it’s not even vitamin K for crying out loud!! It’s SYNTHETIC. Get your heads out of your big-pharma-mind-controlled asses and start learning the real truth.
      I can’t believe of all things you chose to call those parents, you chose gullible. SO hilarious seeing as everyone here that’s FOR all of these toxins being injected into their children are making their choices only off of what they’ve been told by their doctors. Or from what they’ve read in an advertisement or poster or pamphlet. YOU are the gullible ones. It’s beyond hilarious that you all just sit there and take the information that’s given to you in handouts as the truth – no questions asked. You are nothing but sheep, and also doing nothing but what the Big Guys want you to. So enjoy the charade, but I don’t play along with it. I care about my children enough NOT to inject them with harmful, detrimental TOXINS. You are all irresponsible for NOT taking control of the information and looking into it yourselves. You are all irresponsible for expecting your doctors, pharmacists, etc to know everything, and know that everything they are doing is 100% safe and transparent. IT IS NOT. WAKE UP, IDIOTS.
      Jesus, this makes me sad for the future.

      • Megan
        January 1, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

        Since you’re so “well researched” perhaps you can post some citations (real citations, please, from actually peer-reviewed medical journals) for us “gullible sheep” showing that the vitamin K shot is harmful. Please, do educate us.

      • Gene
        January 1, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

        Ah, yes, toxins. Please tell us more about the toxins. I need a nice refresher for my organic chem, biochem, and pharmacology courses…

      • Roadstergal
        January 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

        Please define a toxin. For the lutz.

      • RevDr. Robert Foster, AbC, EfG
        January 2, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

        Proper research is done in a lab, not on webstores, or “mommyblogs.”

        Also, the word you’re looking for is “toxicant,” not “toxin.” There’s a difference. Since you get your false information from said stores and blogs, I’m not surprised you dont know the difference.

      • January 2, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

        Vitamin K is a chemical, like all vitamins. If you make a synthetic version of a naturally-occurring substance, it’s identical. This is not a hard concept.

        I hope, I genuinely hope, that you never have to eat your words when one of your children dies or suffers permanent damage from measles, whooping cough, or mumps. I am assuming, based on your prior content, that you are also anti-vax. If you’re not, well then good, you’ve made at least one good decision involving your children’s health.

        • Tonna
          August 8, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

          No one is denying it is a chemical. Why do you think that is hard for others to grasp? Do you think those preservatives and other “chemicals” are safe to inject into a newborns underdeveloped immune system, past their first line of defenses into their bloodstream? Not to mention these shots have not been tested in a a proper longterm study like they should be. I seen your other argument about this being not so important, sounds like you are telling others to worship science, and to not question it that sounds like religious quackery to me. Also, it seems a lot of you are giving others a hard time about their own research from the cdc website and the studies you can find online,if you know what to look for, and you aren’t doing a lick of research yourselves, even the medical professionals. That is what you call dogma and not true science.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 8, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

            Everything is a chemical. Water is a chemical. Oxygen is a chemical. Breastmilk is made of chemicals. Your “argument” is foolish.

          • August 8, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

            Uh, yeah, I definitely think it’s really safe to do that. There’s been a whole lot of studies showing that it’s really safe to do that. It’s certainly safer than a brain bleed, measles, mumps, pertussis, or any of the other things that all those vaccines and vitamins prevent from happening.

            I question everything. That means I read the studies and understand them. That means I also stop being hyperskeptical about things that are pretty settled; things like the germ theory of disease or evolution or the benefits of a Vitamin K injection, for instance, I don’t question because the evidence is so overwhelming that they are correct.

            These shots have been repeatedly tested in a very large sample group known as “the population at large”. At no point has any study linked any negative effects to the Vitamin K shot, while they have linked good effects like “baby didn’t get a brain bleed and die” to getting a Vitamin K shot.

            You’re really bad at this trolling thing, by the way. I mean, you’ve got the jumping to conclusions and gratuitous insults down pretty well, but your complete and utter ignorance is just too obvious. It’s interfering with your ability to really rile people up. It’s a nice try though.

        • Daleth
          February 12, 2017 at 9:34 am #

          Vitamin K is a chemical, like all vitamins. If you make a synthetic version of a naturally-occurring substance, it’s identical.

          Exactly. And if you grow a tomato using hydroponics in a lab, it is still a tomato. If you create a sapphire or diamond in a lab rather than ripping it out of the ground, it is still a sapphire or diamond. A jeweler can’t tell the difference between a lab-created sapphire and a mined one because there IS no difference: they’re the same thing, right down to the molecular level. Ditto farmed vs. hydroponic tomatoes. For that matter you can’t tell the difference between a baby born through IVF, a baby born through loving sex, and a baby born through rape. They’re all babies no matter how they came into being.

          And back to your main point: nobody can tell the difference between “synthetic” or naturally occuring vitamin K, or for that matter between “synthetic” pitocin and naturally occuring oxytocin, because they are the SAME THING.

          When we say something is “synthetic,” that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It just means it was made by people in a lab, rather than by a tree or dirt or seismic pressure or whatever makes it when it occurs in nature.

      • Mitchell McCreath
        June 28, 2018 at 9:22 am #


  3. VikingAPRNCNP
    November 15, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    As a nurse it only makes sense to me to have the vitamin k and the hep b. To do otherwise is irresponsible.

  4. Dorito Reiss
    October 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    Ooh! I get to feel like a pro-vaxxer here for a second! My baby didn’t get the vitamin k shot and is perfectly fine!
    Btw, my baby was also born without any assistance. A vbac too. So much better than the over medicalized hospital birth and unnecesarian for my first. My first also had vitamin k snuck in without consent. He’s the one with issues.

    • Nick Sanders
      October 27, 2015 at 3:30 am #

      From the sound of it, the one with “issues” in this story is you.

      • yugaya
        November 16, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

        I’ve seen worse:

        • Bugsy
          November 16, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

          From the standpoint of the clean-up alone, HB doesn’t seem much easier to me.

          • Daleth
            November 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

            I am totally bewildered by the concept that home birth is “easier.” All you have to do to have a baby in the hospital is (1) go to the hospital and (2) proceed with either labor or a CS. That will likely involve some amount of talking with doctors/nurses/midwives about how things are going and what you want to do at any given point.

            Then you rest there for a couple of days while other people bring you food and clean up whatever messes you may have made during or after delivery.

            In a home birth you usually don’t have to go to the hospital (though there’s at least a 1 in 10 chance that you will), but you or yours have to buy all kinds of crap beforehand (birthing pool, pads for protecting your bedsheets from blood…), then clean up after labor, make food and clean up after each meal, talk with the midwife or whoever is attending you (husband??) about how things are going and what you want to do at any given point…

            Ok, I think we can safely conclude that it is NOT easier.

          • Roadstergal
            November 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

            The birthing pool breaks my brain. How the hell do you bring it into your living room, fill it, keep it warm, and then drain it? I know there’s no ‘cleaning’ step involved during use (gah), but what on earth do you do at the end with a pool full of blood, feces, urine, and amniotic fluid? What happens if it leaks? What happens if your floor isn’t rated for that much weight?

          • FrequentFlyer
            November 16, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

            These are questions I think any logical, reasonable person would ask. So they are not questions that a person who would give birth in a pool would ever consider. Just thinking about these things probably means you will never need to know the answers.

          • Who?
            November 16, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

            But there is the ‘oh it’s so hard, and better, so I’ll do it’ narrative that runs in parallel to ‘natural is so easy’. The hard work involved in making it all work proves how much you love your baby and are commited to doing the best for it.

            I do wonder how many do it more than once though. The practical icky stuff might wear thin quite quickly when the choice is lurk around with the new baby or sieve chunks ouf of the birth water before pouring it down the drain. Let’s hope they don’t decide to water the petunias with it instead. Does anyone who has never done/seen it get just how messy birth is?

          • FrequentFlyer
            November 16, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

            I had two very nice c-sections so I don’t know much about the mess of birth, but I’ve heard it’s pretty nasty. This gives me an idea though. Maybe my husband and some of his buddies from the fire department can use their hazmat training to start a side business cleaning up after home births. They could decon the house and properly dispose of the contents of the birth pool and all other waste. If we get more ncb types around here they might do well.

          • Houston Mom
            November 16, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

            I googled it (briefly). Sump pump or aquarium pump to send it down a drain, toilet or even out into the yard. Someone said they used buckets. Someone said she put panty hose over the end of the tube to keep solids out of her drain.



            I wouldn’t trust the math skills of a CPM to tell me if my floor was strong enough.

          • Roadstergal
            November 16, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

            “Solids.” *hurk*

            Well, I’m glad I have that demystification to show me how much easier it all is at home.

        • Roadstergal
          November 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

          “I birth at home not because it is easy, but because it is haaahd!”

    • yugaya
      November 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

      “My baby didn’t get the vitamin k shot and is perfectly fine! Btw, my
      baby was also born without any assistance. A vbac too. So much better
      than the over medicalized hospital birth and unnecesarian for my first.
      My first also had vitamin k snuck in without consent. He’s the one with

      You clearly love both of your kids just the same. Nothing wrong with saying that one was born in such superior manner and into such superior health, right?

      For their sake, please make sure that they are not within the earshot if this is how you talk to people in RL about their births and vaccines. Also – internet never forgets, and kids grow so fast these days!

    • yentavegan
      November 16, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

      Right!! And I sometimes drive drunk but I get home without an accident so it must be safe.

      • Roadstergal
        November 16, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

        Driving drunk is such a relaxing and empowering experience. I’ve had so many friends who have gotten into accidents sober – it’s just ridiculous that anyone can believe that drunk driving isn’t a better choice.

  5. itsheebutt
    April 6, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    One anecdote proves nothing. What if I quoted you a story about a child who died as a result of a side effect of a vaccine? Would you swear off vaccines?
    I think the odds of your scenario happening to a child who skips the vitamin K shot is around one in ten thousand. At least that is the number I see quoted. Pretty remote odds. And my understanding is that the child could have received vitamin K orally – maybe if that had been offered the child would have been saved. That would seem to greatly decrease the odds, right? So extremely remote odds.
    But if not, suppose they refuse both the injection and oral supplement. Consider the following. Imagine a parent faced with a choice about treatment of their child, who has just come down with a life-threatening disease. The mother is offered two options. Option A has a 99.002% survival rate with no side effects ever. Option B has a 99.003% survival rate but with a slight chance of pain, infection, or other trauma.
    Are you saying the parent who chooses A is an irresponsible idiot but the parent who chooses B is a responsible genius?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      April 6, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

      I’m saying that parents who refuse neonatal vitamin K injections are irresponsible idiots. Does that make things clear?

      • Dorito Reiss
        October 26, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

        OBs are irresponsible idiots. Keep cutting moms open to keep their delivery on your schedule.

        • Who?
          October 27, 2015 at 12:15 am #

          What if the woman wants the section to suit her schedule?

          • Dorito Reiss
            October 27, 2015 at 12:19 am #

            That isn’t an evidence based practice, is it? NO.

          • Daleth
            November 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

            The evidence is that c-sections are safer for babies than vaginal deliveries are, and that planned, pre-labor c-sections–as opposed to emergency, during-labor c-sections–are as safe for the mother as vaginal births are.

            Given that, there is zero justification for telling a woman she doesn’t get to choose how to give birth, but must deliver vaginally even though she doesn’t want to.

          • Dorito Reiss
            October 27, 2015 at 12:21 am #

            Your question speaks to the problem of too many c-sections. It’s so commonplace these days that it’s considered “normal.” It isn’t, and shouldn’t be. It should only be used in cases where clearly necessary.

          • Montserrat Blanco
            October 27, 2015 at 1:11 am #

            Thank you SO much for telling women what to do with their bodies.

            Why don’t you tell the truth? That most CS happen in order to preserve babies’ lifes and brains functions? That there are a lot of women out there that chose to bear the risks themselves instead of having their babies go through higher risks?

            And no, refusing the vitamin K shot does not make you special or very intelligent. It just makes your child at a higher risk of dying.


            But of course you know better.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            October 27, 2015 at 2:03 am #

            Which c sections do you feel are acceptable? If for example if a baby has a 10% chance of dying with a vaginal birth or a 0.1% chance of dying with a c section, then would that be an acceptable reason to perform a c section? Where would you draw the line?

          • Who?
            October 27, 2015 at 2:12 am #

            ‘Normal’ is a shallow and judgmental word, so not surprising you would jump to it.

            What if a woman needs to know when she’ll be delivering so she can plan a break from the job she needs to keep a roof over her family’s head? ‘Necessary’ enough for you?

          • Nick Sanders
            October 27, 2015 at 3:31 am #

            Who determines “clearly necessary”? NCB fanatics with no medical training?

          • Azuran
            November 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

            You know, just like the majority of plastic surgery. No plastic surgery ever should be done unless it’s clearly medically necessary.
            Planned mastectomy because you are at increased risk of cancer? Why don’t you actually wait and see if you get cancer, then it will clearly be necessary.
            You don’t want more children? can’t have a v asectomy or ligatures, It’s not clearly necessary, just use condoms or the pill.
            Removal of your wisdom teeth? You have to wait to see if they will mess up your mouth before having them removed, otherwise we cannot know it was clearly necessary.

          • MaineJen
            November 17, 2015 at 9:40 am #

            Babies and moms dying in childbirth all the friggin time used to be considered “normal” too. I’ll take the new normal over the old normal any day.

          • momofone
            January 2, 2016 at 11:04 am #

            Clearly necessary as determined by…you?

          • Roadstergal
            November 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

            Or to lower her risk of incontinence later in life? Or to take the known recovery profile of a C-section over the much more chancy could-go-awesome-could-be-a-shitshow of VB? Or because she has a history of sexual abuse and doesn’t want a baby coming out of her vagina? Or any of the rest of the pile of reasons women have for a MRCS?

        • demodocus
          November 16, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

          totally ‘splains why my ob stayed 6 hours after his shift ended to see my kiddo born. Vaginally.

        • yugaya
          November 16, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

          You forgot to mention golf.

    • Nick Sanders
      April 6, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

      How high is the “slight” chance of Option B?

      • Montserrat Blanco
        October 27, 2015 at 1:21 am #

        1 in 15000-20000 babies without supplementation. For exclusively breastfed infants it might be as high as 0.44% (breastmilk is deficient in vitamin K). No side effects of supplementation. And you can bet my son got it.

        • Who?
          October 27, 2015 at 2:14 am #

          No doubt our mate here thinks .44% is too tiny to worry about.

          • RevDr. Robert Foster, AbC, EfG
            November 16, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

            0.44% is too tiny to worry about.

          • Daleth
            November 16, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

            A 0.44% risk is 1/200–to be exact it’s 1/227. A 1/200-ish risk of death or brain damage is high enough to worry about when we’re talking about the risk of uterine rupture in VBAC (which is, for the best candidates, about 0.5% or 1/200), so it’s enough to worry about when we’re talking about brain hemorrhages that the Vitamin K shot would have prevented.

          • Roadstergal
            November 16, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

            A 1/227 risk of death and/or brain damage that is preventable with one of the safest interventions the world has yet seen… yeah. While I agree with the Reverend above that it should not be worried about, it should be in the sense of ‘don’t worry about it, just do it.’

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

            It may seem like a small number, but I wouldn’t get on a plane if there was a 1 in 227 chance that it would crash.

          • Who?
            November 16, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

            That was my thought too: why risk it? But we know these people are very fine with risk for the baby but very quick to seek care when things go south for themselves, so they may be applying a different standard when risk is not to them personally.

          • Roadstergal
            November 16, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

            I think this ‘intervention’ in particular also belies the narrative of Breast Milk As The Perfect Food, so there’s a lot more at stake than just a single injection of a vitamin.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 17, 2015 at 8:17 am #

            Only the most extreme will do things that have a 1/227 risk of death. Climbing Mount Everest, for example, is probably the riskiest thing that anyone chooses to do, with a death rate of about 1/75. I don’t know of anything else that is anywhere close.

            Note that the chance of someone dying due to a drunk driving crash, one of the biggest risks around, right?, is about 2 per million drives (assuming an average drunk drive of 8 miles).

            IIRC, the risk of dying in sky diving or scuba diving is comparable (more like 1 in 300K). Note that life insurance companies don’t cover these “high risk” activities. 1 in three hundred thousand death rate is considered “high risk”

          • RevDr. Robert Foster, AbC, EfG
            November 16, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

            Your math is off. 0.44% is about 4 in 1,000. Considering that intracranial bleeding in newborns without vitamin K shots is as high as 85%, (or 85 out of 100), 4 out of 1,000 having a reaction is small, and acceptable.

          • Who?
            November 16, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

            But isn’t about 4 in 1000 about 1 in 250? Give or take?

            Which makes Daleth’s maths right on the nose.

            So is that an acceptable risk?

          • RevDr. Robert Foster, AbC, EfG
            November 17, 2015 at 4:42 am #

            Fair point, I stand corrected. As for an acceptable risk, 249 would be fine after getting the shot. One would have small issues, like an allergic reaction. That sounds like a win to me.

            It seems that way for doctors, too, because as the article says, they’ve been using it for over fifty years.

          • Daleth
            November 17, 2015 at 12:55 am #

            Yes, 0.44% is between 4 in 1000 and 5 in 1000. Now let’s do the math: 4/1000 is the same as 1/__? And 5/1000 is the same as 1/__? (Hint: divide 1000 by 4 for the first figure; divide it by 5 for the second.)

            So 4 in 1000 is the same as 1 in 250.
            And 5 in 1000 is the same as 1 in 200.
            Or, to be exact, 0.44% (4.4 in 1000) is the same as 1 in 227, like I said.

            So no, my math is not off at all.

            And now let’s run those numbers on all the babies born in the US. About 4 million babies a year are born in the US. If none of them get Vitamin K shots and the risk of brain bleeds is 0.44%, 17,621 babies will get brain bleeds every year who would not have gotten them if their parents had accepted the vitamin K shot. Seventeen THOUSAND six hundred and twenty-one babies, every year. That’s 1468 babies every month, or slightly more than 48 babies every day.

            Is that really an acceptable risk? Why?

          • Daleth
            November 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

            I thought you were talking about the risk of brain bleeds in babies without vitamin K shots…

          • RevDr. Robert Foster, AbC, EfG
            November 18, 2015 at 10:01 am #

            No. I’m sorry. I was referring to the risk levels over getting the vitamin k shot.

          • VikingAPRNCNP
            January 2, 2016 at 7:52 am #

            Doggone you had to burst their bubble with relative risk….

  6. October 31, 2014 at 1:13 am #


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  7. LJ
    October 25, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    The baby just needs to drink the creamy hind milk in order to get vitamin K which is fat soluble.

    Mothers need to eat veg and green fruit (kiwi’s, cucumbers) in order to ensure they have adequate levels.

  8. jennifer
    August 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Honestly I wish people did more research into this topic. I agree that it is shown that vitamin k supplement should be provided to newborns BUT this doesnt necessarily mean the only route is through muscle or vein . The label on these injections even state themselves that fatalities although rare can occur through IM or IV and that the only time it should be administered in those ways is IF no other way orally or subcutaneously meaning right under the skin. Now that being said, these stories of babies hemorrhaging does not provide more information such as “was the mother on any type of medication during pregnancy?”, ” did the mother receive an epidural at time of birth?”, “was she induced” , “did the baby have liver disease or any other type of medical condition where it causes a problem of absorption of vitamin k” and so on.. there are soooo many factors. I am interested in knowing ALL the information in these cases where babies hemorrhage. Did this mother supplement with vitamin k orally??? and why did no body explain that to her at the hospital. The reason I do not like the injection is that first, its made synthetically which does not get absorbed properly by the body so this is why they make it a “megadose” but the problem with that is there is no way in telling just how much is being absorbed, secondly it is not just a vitamin that are in these injections but also includes preservatives and other unnatural ingredients that havent been studied for long term effects. and thirdly it is hard for me to believe that the human body is sooooo flawed. Anyone who has taken an anatomy and physiology class or even a biology class CANNOT possibly think that a human body can mess up soo much as to not provide the proper levels of vitamin k in a baby. The baby will absorb any and all nutrients from mama that it needs, so WHY wouldnt baby absorb more vitamin k through mama??? Just doesnt make sense to me. It could be the traditional american diet which is HORRIBLE , but to say everyone eats that way or that every baby needs this injection is absurd! PLEASE before you comment any further do your own research!

    • KarenJJ
      August 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

      “Anyone who has taken an anatomy and physiology class or even a biology class CANNOT possibly think that a human body can mess up soo much as to not provide the proper levels of vitamin k in a baby”

      Yes they can. My body was made with the wrong form of cryopyrin and it’s caused all sorts of issues. Most of the time I feel like we’re walking bundles of spare parts that *mostly* fit together ok.

      BTW, I’ve never heard of an infant receiving vitamin K via IV. I thought it actually was via subcutaneous injection? If you’re nervous about needles, I do understand that, but for such a simple remedy it really is worth getting past the anxiety about it. I ended up needing to give my child a subcut injection everyday (inherited my issue, poor kid) and she’s doing really well.

      • Jennifer
        August 9, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

        Not nervous about the needles. I’m nervous about the preservatives in these injections that we have no clue what it does to out bodies. And you are correct some people are born with issues so I understand sometimes the body is flawed but for the majority of people we are fully equipped. And I’m glad your girl is doing just fine. I really am. What I’m afraid of is that my baby girl will be that rare case that she goes through anaphylactic shock from the injection. I will be giving her liquid k orally first day, one week after birth and will be supplementing myself so more will come into my breast milk.

        • Jennifer
          August 9, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

          Btw I was saying that is what is written on the label of the vial .. I have never heard of it being administered intravenously either.

          • Box of Salt
            August 9, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

            Just curious Jennifer “Btw I was saying that is what is written on the label of the vial ..”

            What’s your source for the vial label?

          • guest
            August 10, 2014 at 1:59 am #

            Because it’s NOT TO BE GIVEN IV. It’s ONLY given IM. Oral Vitamin K DOESN’T WORK. Oh and please site your source of your claim, “it is not necessary for ALL.”

        • NoLongerCrunching
          August 9, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

          I wouldnt say we have “no idea” what the preservatives do. They’ve been tested and used for decades safely. Nothing is 100% danger-proof. But it has been proven mathematically that it is safER for babies to get the shot than not. Why would you be more worried about anaphylaxis than brain hemorrhage, even though the latter is statistically more likely? Could it be just that you are squeamish about injections and making a decision based on emotion rather than with your brain?

          • Danijela
            August 9, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

            If you read my previous comments. I agree vitamin k has been shown to prevent brain hemorrhage , but why is the injection the only way you see fit. I am not making the decision based on my own emotions and actually with the knowledge I acquired through months of research. It’s ok that you feel that the FDA would never lie to you, but me on the other hand am not that easily fooled. In other countries hospitals give the choice on the shot or orally administered due to their studies and statistics prove they are equally effective. In the US it hasn’t been studied enough to come up with that conclusion. And also it’s not the injection itself that worries me. Because I actually found injections you can buy without those preservatives in them. I feel more comfortable with that than putting all sorts of chemicals in my newborn which has no immune system. To each is their own.. If you feel a different way than me that’s OK . I’m not into arguing . All I wanted to say is for people to do more research into the topic before criticizing people that wish for different things . I understand there are factors which make it medically necessary for a baby to receive the shot but I’m saying it is not necessary for ALL .

          • Box of Salt
            August 9, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

            Danijela (or are you jennifer/Jennifer?)
            Let me get this straight:

            “Because I actually found injections you can buy without those preservatives in them. I feel more comfortable with that”
            Because you’d prefer to risk bacterial contamination inside the vial? How does that make sense?

            “than putting all sorts of chemicals in my newborn”
            You know the world is made of chemicals, right? Or did you mean those chemicals you can’t pronounce and don’t have enough scientific knowledge to understand their actions?

            “in my newborn which has no immune system”
            What does your baby’s immune system have to do with a possible vitamin deficiency which may lead to catastrophic consequences for your child? Absolutely nothing!

            “I’m not into arguing . All I wanted to say is for people to do more research into the topic before criticizing people that wish for different things .”
            You came here, to this site, to engage in scaring people out of the newborn vitamin K injection, because you (if you are jennifer) don’t believe the body can do any wrong. And even if you’re not the original jennifer – Yes: you did in fact come here to argue for your point of view.

            “I understand there are factors which make it medically necessary for a baby to receive the shot but I’m saying it is not necessary for ALL .”
            By the time you know it’s necessary, it’s too late: the bleeding has already happened.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 9, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

            Months of research? I doubt it.

            How many scientific articles did you read from beginning to end? How many pediatric textbooks? How many hematology textbooks. I’m going to guess zero?

            Your stupidity is mind blowing. You don’t know the first thing about vitamin K and hemorrhage and you actually think you have done research. What an ignorant fool.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 9, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

            Just like you, Jennifer/ Danijela!

          • Siri
            August 10, 2014 at 7:23 am #

            In retrospect, it’s not necessary for all. But since we don’t know exactly which babies are at risk, the vit K injection IS actually needed by ALL newborn babies. That way the vulnerable ones are protected. Go ahead, put your own baby at risk; no one here will try to stop you. But don’t delude yourself that your choice is based on anything but ignorance, prejudice and a mistaken sense of being ‘informed’. And try not to evangelise too much about your dangerous misconceptions; at least that way it’s only your own child you endanger.

          • sneakierbiscuit
            March 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

            Actually IM vitamin K has been found to be more effective at preventing late VKDB than oral forms of vitamin K, including in the Netherlands, although their initial results were that it seemed as effective. It was mostly, for classic VKDB, but not for late VKDB. In response, their oral regimen has changed to require higher daily doses of oral vitK from day 8 post-partum to the end of the week 13 post-partum.

            IF you follow the new Dutch regimen, you *might* get similar efficacy in preventing late VKDB (which has a high risk of child morbidity and mortality), but that’s not actually settled.

            Every other study comparing oral vitK regimens with IM vitK has found that oral vitK improves outcomes, but not as much as the IM injection. Oral vitK reduces VKDB, but the injection virtually eliminates it.

          • theadequatemother
            August 10, 2014 at 1:04 am #

            I’m hoping the preservatives will stop my bundles of squishy deliciousness from aging. Snuggly babies 4-Evah!

        • Siri
          August 10, 2014 at 7:16 am #

          And when she spits up, as all babies do, how will you know she has sufficient vit K in her system to prevent haemorrhage? Your smugness level seems perfectly calibrated to your ignorance; it’s a truly impressive achievement. Luckily most babies survive, even those born to the proudly, profoundly, perpetually stupid.

        • Amazed
          August 10, 2014 at 8:34 am #

          Good luck. Maybe your body will be just as flawed as the bodies of these other mothers you despise so. For your kid’s sake, I hope it is and will actually make it possible for all your pitiful attempts of supplementing to work. Because in unflawed bodies, they don’t work. No matter what your experience of an armchair researcher tells you.

    • Box of Salt
      August 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

      another suggestion for reading for you: try that list of questions you have on this baby’s story (also discussed on this website back in March 2014; check the archives):

      • Jennifer
        August 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

        Box of salt,
        Yes I did come across this story in my readings and as it was noted she started to hemorrhage .. Now I would like to know her medical history. Maybe mom was deficient of vitamin k , maybe she had something wrong internally making it hard for her liver to produce k2 .. I’m not saying nobody should get the shot. Sometimes it is necessary. If drugs were taken by mama or if the baby is bruised quite a bit.. There are other factors that put the baby at higher risk. Was she supplementing herself with vitamin k is a concrete concern as well . What was her diet like and the article also says she was going through the different injections with the doctor prior so another question is did the baby receive any other shots? Can’t read one story and determine a final decision especially when it involves your child. And you also cannot read or hear a story and not ask questions.

        • Box of Salt
          August 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

          Jennifer, it’s not just one story: 4 children in Tennessee suffered similar bleeds last year (2013) for the exact same reason:

          I am going to link 2 more sources about the same event in separate comments.

        • guest
          August 10, 2014 at 1:48 am #

          Or maybe the baby just had hemorrhagic disease of the newborn from not receiving Vitamin K… and, what would knowing her medical history tell you, Jennifer? You obviously have no medical background or training of any sort, or you wouldn’t even make such silly statements as, “there are other factors that put the baby at higher risk. Was she supplementing herself with vitamin K is a concrete concern as well.” Give us a break and stop making a fool of yourself on here with your obvious “Dr Google” information.

        • sneakierbiscuit
          March 5, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

          In the Tennessee cases, the mothers were not vitamin K deficient.

          And also, these were cases of late VKDB, not classic VKDB, so birth trauma is not a factor.

    • NoLongerCrunching
      August 9, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

      Jennifer, dont you see how insulting it is to assume that if someone has a different opinion than you it’s because they haven’t done their research?

      • Box of Salt
        August 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

        And allow me to add to NoLongerCrunching’s comment: it’s particularly offensive when all of your information, jennifer, is sourced to your own misguided beliefs (“Just doesnt make sense to me. “).

    • Captain Obvious
      August 10, 2014 at 8:39 am #

      Babies don’t get enough vitamin D from exclusive breastfeeding. Case in point to refute your belief ” that the human body is sooooo flawed. Anyone who has taken an anatomy and physiology class or even a biology class CANNOT possibly think that a human body can mess up soo much as to not provide the proper level”.

    • sneakierbiscuit
      March 5, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

      There is a brand of FDA approved preservative-free vitamin K for IM injection. The vitamin K in this injection is plant-derived, and all ingredients are listed and have been tested for safety, and found safe at the levels included.

      There are no recorded fatalities from IM injections of vitamin K in the modern fat-soluble formulation. There were reports of jaundice and other adverse affects from the water-soluble forumation of the 1950’s, and there were reports of anaphylaxis and seizures when it was given in IV form. (It’s not though; routine vitamin K supplementation of neonates is in IM injection form.) There has been ONE report of an allergic reaction to the IM shot, for unknown reason, and that baby made a full recovery.

      And babies get VKDB even in other countries and cultures in which the mothers eat a very different diet from the “traditional” American diet. And they get VKDB despite the mothers not showing any signs of vitamin K deficiency themselves.

      And, anybody who’s studied human biology knows that the human body can mess up quite significantly. Because VKDB is rare, there’s not necessarily a driving evolutionary imperative to address low levels of vitamin K, because relatively few babies die from it.

    • Nick Sanders
      April 6, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

      ” The baby will absorb any and all nutrients from mama that it needs, so WHY wouldnt baby absorb more vitamin k through mama???”

      After the baby comes out, there’s no more umbilical cord or placenta. The baby and mother are distinct biological units, and if the baby’s body lacks something, there is no magical way for the mother’s body to know. And that’s assuming that the mother herself is getting adequate nutrition.

      Edit: Whoops, didn’t see this comment was 8 months old. I was reading the page because there were new posts on it, and I made the mistake of assuming it was a recent entry.

  9. Sara
    July 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    It is a shame that babies die from deceit and irrational fear of medicine.

    I planned a homebirth but gave birth in the hospital. My HB midwife’s assistant (student/apprentice, whatever) came to the hospital to be my doula. When my baby was born and it was time to get the Vit. K shot, the doula kept asking if we wanted all of the standard newborn stuff and my mom (an RN) challenged her on the Vit. K “Why wouldn’t we want that?” The doula stammered something about “some people think it causes problems” but in front of my mom and the rest of the medical team, she wouldn’t make any of the typical statements you hear about Vit. K in NCB circles. Very wise of her, considering she seemed to enjoy her profession and would have waaaaay crossed the line trying to give medical advice on that one.

    We went ahead and got the Vit. K. I’m pretty sure if I had the homebirth, it wouldn’t have been an option at all (though you can use the mostly useless oral Vit. K if you buy it yourself) and I would have heard all the scare stories meant to dissuade me (e.g.- “fatalities, have occurred during and immediately after INTRAVENOUS injection of phytonadione”). I had asked the midwife a few months earlier what she thought about vaccines and she told me “I think they’re poison but you can do whatever you want.” And she laughed!

    Well, I don’t want to poison my baby, do I?

    I really agonize over the misinformation that goes around regarding basic newborn care.

    • guest
      August 10, 2014 at 2:04 am #

      Medical professionals do too.. every day we go to work… it’s very distressing to watch people refuse life-saving medical treatment because of something they “heard somewhere” or “read on-line”.. it’s very frustrating…. sigh….

  10. david
    July 26, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    “fatalities, have occurred during and immediately after INTRAVENOUS injection
    of phytonadione” (drug label)

    • Stacy48918
      July 26, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      And your point is what exactly?

      Vitamin K is not given intravenously. But you’re educated so you knew that, right?

      • anion
        July 26, 2014 at 9:19 am #

        David clearly doesn’t understand the difference between intravenous/intramuscular/subdermal/epidural injections. But here’s here to inform all us dummies anyway.

    • Young CC Prof
      May 27, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      Congratulations, you found the drug label. Is there a particular part of it that you’d like to discuss?

      • dave
        July 26, 2014 at 8:21 am #

        “fatalities, have occurred during and immediately after INTRAVENOUS injection
        of phytonadione” would be a very interesting part of the drug label to discuss

        • Stacy48918
          July 26, 2014 at 8:47 am #

          Hey, Sir Spam-a-Lot, we saw it the first time.

  11. PissedAtTheseLieingDoctors
    May 14, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    No one suggested that the mother take vitamin k supplements or ingest food rich in them?? To me that would be just as effective and more healthy than the poisons these ignorant ass money hungry doctors inject us with. Be forreal youre in no way shape or form concerned about that innocent baby that lost its life, your cold and selfish, and you just want your dollars back up. Take that vitamin k and stick it up your ass.

    • Young CC Prof
      May 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

      Exhibit A: Troll who just literally said the baby died because her mother didn’t eat enough kale.

      Vitamin K does not cross the placenta well, nor is it effectively transmitted in breast milk. Regardless of maternal serum levels.

      • sneakierbiscuit
        March 5, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

        Some studies have found that if the mother supplements with 5mg vitK after birth, her breastfed baby’s level improves too. (The babies in this study were all given 1mg vitK IM soon after birth.) So yes, it appears that supplementing the mother with 5mg of vitK does lower the breastfed baby’s risk of vitK deficiency.
        However, there has been no studies as to whether that improvement reduces late VKDB.

    • Poogles
      May 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      “No one suggested that the mother take vitamin k supplements or ingest food rich in them?? To me that would be just as effective and more healthy than the poisons these ignorant ass money hungry doctors inject us with”

      Since when is vitamin k a “poison”? Also, even if the mother’s diet is rich in vit k, that doesn’t take care of the newborn’s vit k levels:

      “Newborn infants are considered to be universally deficient in vitamin K. This happens for a variety of reasons. There is poor transfer of vitamin K across the placenta and the immature liver has both decreased storage capability and is inefficient at using available vitamin K.[…]Adding to this, breast milk does not contain sufficient amounts of vitamin K and the initially-sterile gut of the newborn does not significantly contribute to vitamin K levels in the body for several weeks.” (

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      May 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Please tell us your qualifications to opine on the metabolism of Vitamin K. Let me guess, you have none, right?

      • dave
        July 26, 2014 at 8:24 am #

        what about the fact that “fatalities, have occurred during and immediately after INTRAVENOUS injection
        of phytonadione” (caution on the drug label)

  12. Kim S
    April 26, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    I am looking into this as my sister has Thrombophillia and as there is a 50% chance of bub having it also she is unsure on if she should agree to the Vit K shot at birth. Any insight on this?

    • Young CC Prof
      April 26, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

      Does your sister see a specialist for her thrombophilia? What does the specialist recommend?

      Also, I presume she is getting all appropriate testing and care now, including regular ultrasounds? Women with thrombophilia are at high risk of problems with the placenta or delivering a baby who is unusually small. There are other possible issues in pregnancy also.

    • Jürgen Erhard
      July 28, 2014 at 10:28 am #

      Did your sis get that shot as a baby? Did you?

      The very likely answer to both these questions is “YES”.

      And, please, read the article and try to understand it. Thank you.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      July 28, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      Off hand, I can’t immediately think of any thrombophilias that would make the vit K shot contraindicated. If it’s protein C or S deficiency, the vit K shot might actually improve the situation with respect to thrombophilia since both are vitamin K dependent. If it’s something like factor V leiden, the risk of thrombosis in a newborn is quite low. But ultimately she should talk to a pediatric hematologist to get the best advice for her specific situation.

  13. Box of Salt
    April 4, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    I came across this very information article written by a pediatrician through a post on another website:

    I hope anyone who lands here to argue reads and thinks about it.

    • Box of Salt
      April 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      Since the whole link does not show up, the title of the article is
      “Playing Newborn Intracranial Roulette: Parental Refusal of Vitamin K Injection”Apologies for the typo: information should read informative (nothing like having to do that 3x)

  14. ocean.
    February 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Interesting article, both me and my son were not given a vitamin K shot at birth and we’ve been growing up healthy and happy. I understand every case is different, however, should have I been premature or had a vacuum extraction it was recommended by my midwife to reconsider.

    • Young CC Prof
      February 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      About 1.7% of babies who don’t get Vitamin K develop hemorrhagic disease of the newborn. What that means is that most babies will be fine either way, but the risk of rejecting Vitamin K is significant.

      If no babies received Vitamin K, there would be 68,000 cases of hemorrhagic disease of newborn every year in the USA, many resulting in brain damage, some fatal.

    January 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    amy tuteur seems like a real bitch. self-trolling her own article’s comment section. bitch.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

      Alternatively, she’s responding to people who comment on her blog…you know, trying to have a dialogue, exercising her right to reply, stuff like that.

      The Irish judge is deducting style points for use of misogynistic slurs.

    • Trixie
      January 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

      Lolz. As opposed to trolling someone else’s blog, like you’re doing right now?

  16. Mc
    January 11, 2014 at 1:22 am #

    I wonder if there would have been the same problem had she included natto in her diet. Though it is a strong fermented food it has 1103 micrograms of vitamin K2′ and is the absolute best source of vit k, as far as amount. The benefits of vit K2 has shown significant importance is peer reviewed scientific articles and is becoming a more intensely studied nutrient. I have no issue with home births or refusing vaccinations, which peer reviewed articles provide convincing evidence against. However one must know what they are doing. The synergistic impact of all fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K2 must be included in the diet of anyone but especially pregnant or lactating women.

    This author is either ignorant or maliciously peddling fear, either way it is to anyone’s benefit to do their own research.

  17. Common sense
    December 30, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Maybe the vitamin K shot would be less objectionable if it didn’t also contain Phenol (carbolic acid – a poisonous substance derived from coal tar), Benzyl alcohol (preservative), Propylene glycol (better known as antifreeze and a hydraulic in brake fluid), Acetic acid (astringent, antimicrobial agent), Hydrochloric acid, Lecithin and Castor oil. Read the insert “Dr.”.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      December 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      Doctors get their information from scientific papers, not package inserts.

    • toni
      December 31, 2013 at 12:03 am #

      Some of those things are found in common toiletries. I’ve even seen lecithin listed on some health foods. Propylene glycol isn’t the dangerous kind of anti freeze it’s in lots of stuff and I’m glad there is something in the injection to kill microbes! Hydrochloric acid sounds a bit dodgy but it is found in the human body and I’m sure it is a very tiny amount! And castor oil well I thought that was all the rage with health conscious natural types.

    • Box of Salt
      December 31, 2013 at 12:29 am #

      Common sense, most of the ingredients you list are only scary if you know absolutely nothing about chemistry.

      Lecithin is an emulsifier used in many foods (it helps them stay mixed).
      Antifreeze is actually ethylene glycol, not propylene glycol (which is used in vaccines, as well as many other things.
      Acetic acid is vinegar.
      Hydrochloric acid sound scarier than it is, too – it’s what your stomach acid is consists of, and it’s used to make water soluble salt preprations of many medicines (that’s why they have the word “hydrochloride” in their names).
      Castor oil? Are you kidding me? It’s a traditional home remedy. On the other hand, it might be worth being afraid of that one.

    • Bombshellrisa
      December 31, 2013 at 12:38 am #

      Castor oil is what homebirth midwives suggest to do a “natural induction”. You mix it with orange juice and vodka or put it in a milkshake

    • Stacy48918
      July 26, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      Yea. ETHYLENE glycol is antifreeze. Nice try.

    • NoLongerCrunching
      July 26, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Thank GOD there is no dihydrogen monoxide in there. I heard that literally 100% of people who ingest it DIE.

  18. channonh
    December 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    This doctor/author’s presentation perfectly demonstrates the headstrong, arrogant and blockheaded approach of many in the medical community that provides the very spark for intelligent parents to pause and say, “Wait. Nothing in life is this black and white. Perhaps we should investigate on our own.” Perhaps if America’s medical community were just slightly open to new ideas, the concept that their rock-solid foundations might be flawed, and that science is a evolving body of knowledge, their current positions would sit better with a greater percentage of intelligent parents, who just might be less likely to end up on the opposite end of the spectrum. Regarding vitamin K injections, current research indicates that a 0.5mg injection–instead of the current practice of 1.0mg–provides the SAME level of blood clotting protection, yet reduces the risk that the vitamin K injection may increase the odds of childhood leukemia.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      December 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Perhaps if you weren’t so arrogant in your ignorance you might realize that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      • Jimmy McHeggis
        April 27, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

        You have the audacity to talk about arrogance after your comments?

        What right do you have to make this statement?

        Proponents of this transgressive behavior like to think that it marks them as independent thinkers. It doesn’t; it marks them as ignorant, gullible and willing to take terrible risks with the lives of their children for no better reason that to preen to themselves and others.

        Regardless of your qualification… To label everyone with the same motivation for refusing injections, is arrogant, ignorant and assuming you know everything.

        The very fact that you come across so aggressively and only state one side of the debate, marks you out as someone that I for one would not trust.

        • Jürgen Erhard
          July 28, 2014 at 10:33 am #

          I have the audacity, nay, the duty, to call you a despicable stupid arrogant idiot.

          And that’s just because typing while enraged is so hard.

          And Amy states just one side of the (non-)debate because she, as a professional, is sworn to upholding that side (or maybe it’s just her personal conviction): the side of the truth.

          Yes, ignorant and gullible are the correct terms. Followed by pages of invective for which this is just too polite a forum.

          You people make me sick.

    • Young CC Prof
      December 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      How can you reduce a zero risk? There’s no association between Vit K and leukemia. One study suggested there might be, others found a definite no.

    • Jürgen Erhard
      July 28, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      Yeah, let’s just reject *all* the cures/preventions invented/found in the last 50 to 100 years!

      Let’s go back to the good old times!

      Let’s have an infant mortality rate as they have it in the third world!

      Oh, wait…

  19. BecauseUDocDontMakeUBetter
    December 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    You are an terrible author, who thinks her opinion is better than other. I like how you decide people who don’t want vaccines to be ignorant. Remember, smoking and circumcisions were “healthy” and recommended at one point. Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right. Do you even know what the actual synthetic vitamin k is made from? It’s not natural…

    • Captain Obvious
      December 14, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      So, I take it you did not give your baby Vitamin K1. Why don’t you continue your thought about how vitamin K1 is made and what it gets metabolized in the human body. How much actually ends up being used and how much excess is found in the bile or liver.

      • Meerkat
        December 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

        Captain Obvious, it might be a bit snarky of me, but judging by BecauseUDocDontmakeUBetter’s grammar she/he has no idea what bile is.

    • guest
      December 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      The AAP’s current policy on circumcision is that the lifelong benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. Google AAP circumcision task force report; it will take you directly to a great deal of science.

    • Jimmy McHeggis
      April 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      I am voting you up for recognising that there is no place in medicine for Doctors who are ‘knowledge’ bullies.

      They used to leech and bleed patients until relatively recently. They are not always right.

  20. ilovecookies
    November 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I think this woman honestly felt that she was doing what was best for her child. I am as pro vaccination as it gets however I can see why many western people get sucked into the whole anti-vax palava. They haven’t experienced the reality of the diseases and conditions that vaccinations and inoculations prevent. They are so used to seeing everyone well (thanks to vaccines) that they assume that vaccines are unnecessary. I think that maybe educating people on what life was like before vaccines and asking elderly people if they want to volunteer give talks to expectant Mothers about life before vaccinations would be a brilliant idea.

    • vicnicholls
      April 19, 2017 at 9:19 pm #

      OMB I know people with polio, mumps, and have seen a diptheria throat. I’ve seen autistic people with more college degrees than me, multilingual, better at math, art, etc..

      So bring on the vaccines. The choice between the risks of death and injury from the diseases, and seeing that autism isn’t a death sentance, compared to *true* vaccine issues, its a no brainer.

      Unless people want Zika … Ebola … vaccines like that to go away. Maybe we can get more photos/videos of true Ebola and have people watch those, more Zika photos, and then say they and their loved ones would rather pay the price than risk a vaccine.

  21. OB nurse
    November 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    All I have to say is “why take the chance?” I commend you Dr. Tueter for putting this subject into perspective and being straight forward. The benefits of the shot clearly outweigh the risks and your ultimate goal is to have a healthy mom and a healthy baby. While I never think that that a parent should have to watch a child die I also would never want to be the parent that has to ponder on what if I hadn’t made that decision? Sometimes it takes someone being a little harsh to put things into perspective and really think about the decisions you make concerning your children.

  22. Dawn1078
    November 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I found this article very harsh! I beleive in vaccines and my boys recieved of their shots when they were first botn but I did not research and made a decission that I beleived was right and every mother has to make that same decision. You should be a shame judging a woman so harshly. She lost her child I am sure she is judging herself enough!!

    • MaineJen
      November 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Vitamin K shot is NOT A VACCINE. It’s a vitamin supplement, and it helps the baby develop the necessary clotting factors to prevent bleeding. They can’t get the vitamin K from Mom through the placenta or from the breast milk. It’s a shot that does absolutely no harm and a whole lot of good; it’s a safe, easy preventative measure. Any research that tells you differently is suspect.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      November 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      It’s meant to be harsh. Infant deaths caused my maternal ignorance is a harsh topic.

      • Jimmy McHeggis
        April 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

        “It’s meant to be harsh”

        Then you have failed you silly woman. You may understand obstetrics, you are clearly lacking in psychology.

        • Trixie
          April 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

          Ignorant AND sexist. Well done, sir!

          • Jimmy McHeggis
            April 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

            Dont mention it. I’d rather called sexist than arrogant and stupid.

          • Elizabeth A
            April 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

            We can do both.

    • Jürgen Erhard
      July 28, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      I’m pretty sure she’s mostly judging the doctors and the medical profession in general. That’s what dumb self-righteousness does.

  23. Coral Rose
    November 21, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Amy Tuteur…Its arrogant self absorbed people like you that make me sick. As well educated as you might be you clearly dont know anything about humans beings. I would like to start off by saying I personally think all children should be vaccinated and given shots to prevent illness but i highly doubt that any mother would choose to go against her doctors wishes and tradition if she knew it would hurt her baby in any way, it is no extra effort whatsoever to allow your child to get the shots.. I am sure this woman thought she was doing what was best for her child and it is in no way your place to judge this mother and or “western thinkers” in general. i personally use herbs , roots and a healthy diet for almost all my sickness it it works 100 percent better for me and i have zero side effects, but because there is no research behind it so i would probably not use it to treat my child but if someone chooses to birth there baby under a waterfall and raise the child with rabid loins its not mine, yours or anyone else s choice but that child’s parents.

    Peace Love and Freedom!

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      November 21, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      What makes you think I care about what you believe of me?

    • GuestB
      November 21, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      How does one know if they have rabid loins? Should I get mine checked out?

  24. Amy Tuteur, MD
    November 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Wow, Eric, what a coincidence. It’s ignorant clowns like you who make ME sick. You have to be frightfully stupid to think that you know more about bleeding disorders than hematologists simply by consulting Google.

  25. Eric
    November 19, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Doctors like Amy Tuteur make me sick. I am glad that Tuteur takes her job seriously but Patient-Physician relation means nothing compared to Mother-Child; she needs to understand her role and respect the mothers. The insults in this article show arrogance and self-absorption, the kind that doesn’t listen and doesn’t permit questions; that is very dangerous for the patient. This is a tragic story but you NEVER make a rule based on an exception. The title is immensely more absurd than refusing a vit-K shot. A world of educated and proactive mothers is much better than that of ignorant and dependent mothers.

    • Cassandra Sorensen Trujillo
      November 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Its true the article is harsh, but it sounds to me like she is a doctor who has seen these unnecessary deaths more than just once and is probably incredibly frustrated about it as it is her job to keep the patients alive and healthy. Parents refusing these basic infant cares puts the doctor and nurses in an extremely helpless and frustrating situation when something does go wrong.

  26. Carlos
    November 8, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Case studies do not an argument make… it would have been easier to say that in many cases it’s unnecessary but when it’s needed it’s too late. Rather than rely on fear mongering to bolster the power imbalance between a practitioner and the patient. Lack of an MD doesn’t make us stupid. Be informative and accurate rather than a douche.

  27. ron
    November 5, 2013 at 1:36 am #

    Dr. Tuteur, like so many doctors, is arrogant and unable to think critically. Such a shame, as so many look up to these people in “authoritative” positions. Spreading misinformation is one thing, but to be condescending is just childish. I will be sure to spread the word to avoid this blog and any articles written by this biased and ignorant doctor.

    • Carolina
      November 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Uh huh. What part of this is “misinformation”? The baby’s cause of death? Seems pretty cut/dry. That Vitamin K shots are standard procedure to prevent this very complication? Also a fact. It’s hard to hear, but if the parents had folowed medical advice and given their child a freaking VITAMIN, they likely would still have her.

    • Cassandra Sorensen Trujillo
      November 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      The article is quite condescending, but if the baby’s INR was 10, its obvious that the vitamin K shot would have saved this baby’s life. Vitamin K DIRECTLY affects INR. Babies have a hard time producing vitamin K on their own at first, hence the shot. None of this is misinformation.

  28. Amber B
    October 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    This article is an absolute joke. Do the benefits of the vaccine outweigh he risks? No. Your child has up to a 1.7% chance of having this outcome, and that’s partially based on whether you have good nutrition, have high levels of vitamin k, have a c-section, take antibiotics during your labor…Do your research, ladies, instead of listening to this doctor call people who raise their kids without medicine “crazy”. If you have a normal, natural birth, your child is WAY beyond low risk for having this issue. As far as the Hepatitis B joke at birth-also a joke. Unless you (as the mother) have Hep B, or your child is going to have gay sex or get stuck by a dirty needle in the first 24 hours after birth, there is absolutely ZERO reason to get this shot immediately.

    • Young CC Prof
      October 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      1) The vitamin K shot is not a vaccine, it’s a supplement. Learn the difference.

      2) According to that bizarre article you linked to, the biggest reason not to give your baby a vitamin K shot is that the shot might cause pain.

      Trust me, Amber, being shoved through the birth canal causes babies all kinds of pain. Seeing daylight for the first time causes pain. I would imagine the struggle to draw their first breath hurts. Within a few hours, the baby will know the pain of hunger for the first time. A baby’s first day is filled with massive physiological and emotional stress, regardless of the circumstances of birth, and one tiny little needle makes no difference.

      3) Mercola is not a neonatologist, pediatrician or obstetrician. He is an osteopath trained to treat adults.

    • Box of Salt
      October 27, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

      For actual, referenced information about the HepB vaccine see:

      This is a virus that can survive on surfaces for up to 7 days and result in chronic asymptomatic infections – or at least unti lthey result in liver cancer. Nice joke, Amber B.

      By the way, if you can’t tell the difference between a vitamin and a vaccine you should reconsider giving advice on either topic.

      • Jeanna Johnson Duncan
        November 21, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

        It boils down to having a conversation with your pediatrician.
        Do your research and have a discussion. Many times, people become passionate about things like this because they have experienced an unfortunate situation that has made a lasting impression on them.

        . .

    • Kumquatwriter
      November 3, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      Did you actually read this article before commenting? You reference everything she specifically debunked. In any event, your comment is shockingly ignorant and perpetuates the exact behavior that caused the death of the child this damn article is about.

      ETA: Raising your children without medicine is not only crazy, its dangerous, myopic, selfish and plain stupid.

    • thin_red_line
      March 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      The risk factors you speak of are for Hep C, not Hep B. I contracted Hep B from a blood transfusion in 2000 when I was 15, that was not detected in the blood donor screening. Shit happens, why take the risk?

  29. Ken Underwood
    October 22, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    ”infant and child woo” ?

  30. Lyn
    October 17, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    My midwife told me today that there is now research that is questioning whether the peanut oil found in vitamin k injections could be linked to the high level of peanut allergies we are now seeing today. I haven’t looked into it, yet, but just something to throw out there for anyone interested in looking further into it.

    I believe Amy’s article is scaremongering and snobbery. Where were the statistics and data on the subject matter? Amy has just picked one case and used emotive words to try and make her case. And what is her case? That parents should just switch off their brains and blindly accept the ‘experts’ advice.

    Her claim that parents who choose to go against the ‘experts’ advice are ignorant, gullible, and are preening themselves is itself a statement made out of total ignorance and of arrogance. This again demonstrates the weakness of this article as, rather than give the reader the research and data, Amy chose to slander those who disagree with her.

    • Jimmy McHeggis
      April 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      Extract from


      Konakion ampoules contain phenol, propylene glycol38 and polyethoxylated castor oil as a non-ionic surfactant. Studies in animals given polyethoxylated castor oil have shown a severe anaphylactic reaction associated with histamine release. Strong circumstantial evidence implicates polyethoxylated castor oil in similar reactions in humans. Polyethoxylated castor oil, when given to patients over a period of several days, can also produce abnormal lipoprotein electrophoretic patterns, alterations in blood viscosity and erythrocyte aggregation (red blood cell clumping). Individuals sensitive to this base are contraindicated from using Konakion. New Ethicals Compendium also warns that the use of Konakion can cause jaundice and kernicterus in infants.53 Other listed side effects include flushing, sweating, cyanosis, a sense of chest constriction, and peripheral vascular collapse. Local cutaneous and subcutaneous changes may occur in areas of repeated intramuscular injections.

      This synthetic, injectable vitamin K formulation was never subjected to a randomised, controlled trial. In new drugs that are to be used for prophylaxis, the usual risk/benefit analysis does not apply, since the individual is not ill. The ethical principle of non-maleficence (primum non nocere – first do no harm) applies and the trials must thus be larger in order to identify any previously unrecognised side effects.65 Since this did not happen, nor was there any long term follow up, we actually have little idea of the effects of this drug on newborn babies.

      The risks of injecting vitamin K into a newborn baby are nerve or muscle damage as the preparation must be injected deeply into the muscle, not subcutaneously under the skin. There is also the documented risk of injecting the baby with the syntocinon intended for the mother.30, 70 As stated in the product information,53 infants can suffer from jaundice or kernicterus (brain damage from a build-up of bile pigments in the brain) from Konakion. Infants who have the enzyme deficiency G6PD (glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase) are at particular risk from vitamin K.30 The other risk factor is the possible increased chance of childhood cancer.


      In 1970, a national cohort study of 16,193 infants born in one week in April was begun in Britain.26 This study was to test hypotheses about childhood cancers and their associated factors. Thirty-three of the children had developed cancer by age 10 and were compared with 99 control children, matched on maternal age, parity and social class. One of the unlooked-for risk factors was the administration of prophylactic drugssuch as vitamin K in the first week after birth – a nearly three-fold risk. This association fitted no prior hypothesis and the authors recommended that their finding be tested in another series of cases.

      The authors of the study approached Roche, the manufacturers of Konakion, for funding for a further trial to examine the findings more closely. Roche was not interested until, a few months later, the media reported the results of the study and that vitamin K given to babies might cause childhood cancer. Roche then decided to fund a new study.27

      The new study25 was a case-control study of 195 children with cancer born at either of two hospitals in Bristol, England, compared with 588 healthy children also born at these hospitals. One hospital predominantly gave vitamin K orally and the other intramuscularly. The authors found a nearly two-fold risk of leukaemia in children who had received intramuscular vitamin K.

      These findings were extremely worrying. Golding calculated that the extra cases of leukaemia caused by vitamin K injection could be as many as 980 in the UK alone.25 These results were supported by reports of the potential carcinogenicity of vitamin K from Israels et al, who suggested that low vitamin K levels in the newborn protect against the risk of mutations during a period of rapid cell growth and division.39 Pizer et al did not find any association between the route of vitamin K administration and mutations in cells but concluded that his study was too small to show any real effect.62 Another study reported no increase in abnormalities in newborn infants, but, with only 12 infants, the study was too small to show any real effect.10 It is worth noting that after an intramuscular dose of vitamin K, the baby’s plasma levels are almost 9000 times the normal adult levels.47 It has also been suggested that the cancer-causing agent could be a metabolite, N-epoxide, or some other component of the solution other than vitamin K itself.15

      Golding’s study was criticised by many. One of the reasons was that the authors had to make assumptions for some cases, as the information on vitamin K administration was not clearly recorded. In spite of this, expert epidemiologists considered that the results were plausible and so could not be lightly dismissed.15 Further studies were proposed to answer the question of cancer and vitamin K.

      In 1993, results from three retrospective studies on vitamin K and childhood cancer were published. The studies were done in the USA, Denmark and Sweden.41, 57, 19 These studies, although large, did not confirm the association between intramuscular vitamin K and childhood cancer. One of the studies not only showed no association between IM vitamin K and childhood cancer, it also showed no association between maternal smoking and childhood cancer, a finding totally at odds with the results from many other studies.19 The other two studies were also not comparable to the British study. One because of differences in type of vitamin K given41 and the other because of the use of birth cohorts with differing regimens of vitamin K usage.57

      Because of the design flaws in these studies, there was still a need for further case-control studies. Results from two were published in 1996.2, 77 They had carefully matched controls and more accurate information on whether vitamin K had been given or not, and by which route. One of the studies2 reported no association between intramuscular vitamin K and childhood cancer and the other77 found a risk of leukaemia, but only when cases were compared with local controls (i.e. from the same hospital) and not with controls randomly selected from the whole area under study. This, although suggestive, was not followed up but dismissed as a chance finding related to multiple testing.

      The suggestion was then put forward that, as these studies had failed to show a definite association between intramuscular vitamin K and childhood cancers, worries about any potential cancer risk should be abandoned.83

      At that time, four more studies on vitamin K and cancer were in progress.44, 59, 60, 61 The results from these four studies were published in 1998. Two of them failed to confirm any increased risk of childhood cancers.44 61 One of the other studies showed a twofold risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia among 1-6 year olds,59 the other showed a significant risk for all cancers.60

      So, the jury is still out on whether there is an increased risk of childhood leukaemia with the intramuscular form of vitamin K. Some recommend that intramuscular vitamin K should still be used, as the risk of leukaemia “seems more hypothetical than real”.76 Others believe that public confidence in IM vitamin K has been severely shaken and will be difficult to restore fully. They recommend an oral regimen similar to that used in the Netherlands of 25mg daily, given by the mother. This would avoid the grossly unphysiological peaks of vitamin K from both the IM route and the present oral route.71


      The two main problems with giving vitamin K orally are that there is no licensed oral formulation, meaning that babies receive the intramuscular form orally, and that compliance with three oral doses is poor as many doctors and midwives are reluctant to give an unlicensed formula.13 The use of unlicensed preparations may theoretically expose professionals to litigation in the event of prophylactic failure or unforeseen adverse events.2

      Roche, the manufacturers of Konakion, state that they do not recommend the administration of Konakion solution orally.63 Their reasons are:

      that they have no clinical studies to support oral use,

      phenol, which has been reported to be an irritant to newborns mouths, is used as a preservative,

      the variability in the production of bile salts in newborns may affect absorption,

      that Konakion given orally has a small association with anaphylactic reactions.

      The preparation was also unpleasant to taste and babies were inclined to spit it out82 or to vomit it back up. Only about half of an orally administered dose is absorbed.47 Even so, the plasma concentrations in babies who were given oral vitamin K reached 300 times the adult levels, before dropping off slightly after about 24 hours.47

      After the publication of Golding’s studies, further trials were done on oral vitamin K prophylaxis and whether it gave longer term protection. In 1992, Cornelissen11 found plasma vitamin K concentrations were higher in the group given IM vitamin K than the oral group, but blood coagulability, activities of factors VII, X and PIVKA-II concentrations showed no differences. By 3 months follow-up, vitamin K levels had dropped in both groups but more in the oral group. He suggests that neither give long term protection. One would assume that babies should be producing their own vitamin K by 3 months and, if not, what other mechanism could be hindering this process.

      Von Kries et al78 studied repeated oral vitamin K prophylaxis in Germany, with 3x 1 mg doses and found that it was not as effective as a 1mg intramuscular dose at birth. Another study by Cornelissen et al12 reported on the effectiveness of differing regimens of oral vitamin K in four different countries – the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Australia (two differing regimes). In the Netherlands, babies are given 25 mg daily oral vitamin K for 3 months with I mg given at birth either orally for healthy newborns or intramuscularly for unwell babies. In Germany, the regime is 3 x 1 mg oral doses as was also the case in Australia from 1993 to 1994. In Switzerland 2 oral doses of a new ‘mixed-micellar’ oral vitamin K is given. The Netherlands had the lowest failure rate – 0 per 100,000. In Australia, where the regime was changed in 1994 from oral to IM, the failure rate was 1.5 per 100,000 for oral and 0.9 per 100,000 for IM, showing that 3 oral doses are less effective at preventing late onset HDN than one IM dose of vitamin K. Even if Roche are persuaded to bring the mixed-micellar preparation into New Zealand, results from Switzerland (failure rate of 1.2 per 100,000)12 show that further study needs to be done on the most effective timing of the doses.

      If New Zealand parents wish their baby to receive oral vitamin K, the recommended regimen is for 3 x 1mg doses, 1 at birth, 1 at 5 days and 1 at 6 weeks.6, 20 It is up to parents to ensure that their baby receives all 3 doses if they choose this form of prophylaxis.


      It would seem an anachronism that babies are born with a deficiency of such an essential vitamin and require supplementation. In fact, although there have been many studies on differing aspects of vitamin K prophylaxis, there has only been one39 on the possible reasons for and the advantages (if any) of the physiological levels of vitamin K in newborns.

      The risks of prophylaxis for the majority of babies who are at low risk of HDN are also not understood. As plasma vitamin K levels in newborns reach 300 times normal adult levels for oral and almost 9000 times for IM vitamin K47, some research needs to be done on the effects this may have. Studies have shown that physiological levels of vitamin K maintain a careful balance between coagulation and anti-coagulation and we have no idea what the effects of upsetting that delicate balance would be.

      The number of children currently developing cancer during childhood is much higher than the number developing a life threatening or permanently disabling problem as a result of late onset HDN. The risk of childhood cancer is estimated to be 1.4 per 1000, from the 1970 British cohort. If IM vitamin K caused cancer, there would be 100 extra cases of cancer per case of HDN prevented.16 This could mean that giving IM vitamin K to every baby would be doing more harm than good.36

      The decision rests on parents’ shoulders – the link between intramuscular vitamin K and childhood cancer has not been definitively proved, nor has it been completely disproved. It may be that an oral regimen as suggested by Tripp and McNinch71 could be the answer to the dilemma. If this is the case, then Roche needs to be lobbied to make the European preparations available in New Zealand. In the meantime, the choice is between no vitamin K, with the mother being aware of her dietary intake of vitamin K, an oral regimen or the intramuscular formulation.”

  31. ben
    September 27, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    The author has obviously been payed a substantial amount of money to put this article together,talk about scare mongering and be littleing. In light of your blog I for one will not be pushing the hep b vaccine or vitamin k on my newborn child.

    My partner has a healthy diet and me nor her are not drug takers and are not sleeping around behind each others back.I will let Gods creation devolop naturally and do its job and that is the immune system

    • Jocelyn
      September 27, 2013 at 4:49 am #

      You think Dr. Amy was paid to write this? She wrote this to prevent future tragedies happening because parents don’t understand the science behind things like the vitamin k shot.

      What are the reasons you have for not giving the vitamin k shot to your child?

        • Jocelyn
          October 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

          See Young CC Prof’s response above.

        • Box of Salt
          October 27, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

          I’m pretty sure Joe Mercola makes a lot more money off of his website that Dr Amy makes here.

          Where are the shopping links here?

      • Concered Parent
        November 2, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

        You do realize that there ARE risks associated with getting both the Hep B and vitamin K shot right? Both are linked to a higher chance of infant jaundice, which can be deadly. It is important to make an informed decision whether or not you decide to risk jaundice in your child. My child was in the nicu for 4 days due to jaundice, which most likely was caused by these shots. I will only be letting my child get the vitamin K shot if I have more children. There are always risks with whatever you decide to do. I hate that people are so judgmental. Just because you decide not to do something that other people think is essential, doesn’t make one uneducated. There are reasons behind the actions that people decide to make.

        • Young CC Prof
          November 2, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

          Lots of newborns get jaundice. It’s one of many things that can go wrong as the baby’s organs try to function on their own for the first time. Fortunately, it can usually be reversed quite well with ultraviolet therapy until the baby’s own liver starts working properly.

          Do you have any evidence that Vitamin K or Hep B can contribute to jaundice? The Hep B especially I find biologically implausible.

          I have no problem with people making their own decisions. I do have a problem with people making dangerous decisions because they were grossly misinformed about the risks.

          • Jimmy McHeggis
            April 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

            And intelligent people are generally happy to take advice from experts… This is good. But the sheer arrogance and attitude of the author astounds me.

            I doubt this is the first time she has been hauled up of her unfortunate attitude.

          • Elizabeth A
            April 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

            SHe gets called on the attitude so often, Jimmy, that she wrote an article *explaining* it. The attitude, IMO, is defensible (I’ve defended it on many occasions), but there is room for disagreement on that point. You poking around ancient blog posts wagging your finger about the attitude doesn’t seem to be accomplishing anything though.

            There are newer articles, and actual intellectual positions that you could take on them, but I guess you really want to hang around the archives and lecture us on manners.

          • Jimmy McHeggis
            April 27, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

            You are as daft as she is…. I was passing through, hardly hanging around in archives.. comments are fairly recent.

            I don’t care how you justify her attitude it’s clearly unprofessional if it prompts these reactions.

          • Elizabeth A
            April 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

            I followed you in from new comments, dude – you were all five of the newest items in the sidebar. So I can see how interested you are in conversation.

            “Just passing through” usually means that you were linked to this specific article by someone who disagrees. Have you checked out the rest of the place? Looked around? Observed the general tenor of the conversation?

            Dr. Tuteur is not engaged in patient care at this time. She’s retired from medicine, and she writes a blog in a tone that gets attention. That makes her a professional writer, and strong reactions are a sign that she’s doing well at that.

          • Jimmy McHeggis
            April 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

            “…poking around ancient blog posts…”

            “…hang around the archives and lecture us on manners…”

            Interesting reaction… Thats really the best answer you have. Yawn.

            What were you doing ‘hanging around in the same place’ hahahaha

            Silly Billy. Get a life.

        • Box of Salt
          November 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

          Concerned Parent,
          The HepB vaccine contains only some of the proteins found on the virus – those most likely to provoke the body’s ability to make antibodies. It cannot infect anyone with hepatitis, because it is not an actual virus. While the disease hepatitis does cause jaundice, that can only happen after infection by the actual virus. Which, I will point out again, is NOT in the vaccine.

          The most common cause of infant jaundice is being born. Sometimes, it takes an infant’s body a little while to figure out how to work right independently. There’s no need to blame that on things that are completely unrelated.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          November 3, 2013 at 12:00 am #

          You do realize that what you are saying is a bunch of nonsense, right? You need to get some basic education in immunology and hematology and you can’t get that from lay websites.

        • Susan
          November 3, 2013 at 1:19 am #

          I don’t think delaying the Hep B for a month or two is that bad but I also don’t think there is a good rationale for delaying it other.. that is as long as your baby is low risk. But I do think it is a major big deal to be spreading this misinformation on the web. PLENTY of babies spent time in hospital with jaundice prior to HepB vaccine being given to newborns. I think it’s sad that you blame yourself for the jaundice when likely it would have happened anyway. Good for you though for not refusing the Vit K!

    • Happy Sheep
      September 27, 2013 at 6:35 am #

      How is writing about a preventable tragedy sol that other parents are actually informed about the risks of refusing vitamin K scare mongering? How much vitamin K is in breastmilk? If you are so educated, you should be able to explain these things.
      Coming here and saying “nyah nyah I’m not gonna do it just to show you I can” is immature and silly and indicates that you think “research” is using Google.

    • Dr Kitty
      September 27, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      Right, and how does the immune system prevent HDN?

      • Amber B
        October 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

        If you as a mother have high levels of vitamin k (from taking alfalfa supplements, eating lots of greens, etc), you and your child have MUCH lower risk of hemhorrage.

    • matt
      October 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      DONT BE SO FREAKIN IGNORANT BEN!!! We’re not out to get you or people who think just like you. Man, this is in place to prevent needless tragedies just like this. No one is getting paid. The author has emotion in the article because an infant died tragically due to the mindset you have – and it was totally preventable. I’ll do a little judging here and call you a thoughtless conspiracy theorist. See, jumping to conclusions without facts isn’t so cool.

  32. aspiringOBGYN
    September 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm #, this article seems factual to me, can you also refute claims made in it’s articles?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      September 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      Hint: home economists are not reliable sources for medical information.

    • Kerlyssa
      September 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

      The only cite is a 22 year old newsletter that claims one in 500 (since the k shot is standard practice) children have leukemia. Go talk to an oncologist and get back to us.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        September 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

        The incidence of leukemia in newborns isn’t even close to 1 in 500. According to SEER, the incidence of ALL and AML in babies age <1 year is about 2-3/100,000.

    • Dr Kitty
      September 27, 2013 at 6:31 am #

      Can you find another up to date, appropriate academic source that supports it?

      “Seems factual to me” isn’t good enough.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      September 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Vitamin K is given to newborns IM not IV so the scare language about IV infusion is completely irrelevant.

  33. GuestK
    September 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    According to my pediatric pharmacotherapy textbook, hemorrhagic disease of the newborn “affects up to 1 in 1000 neonates and carries 5-30% mortality, if untreated. The condition may be more common in breastfed infants” citing “low concentrations of vitamin K in breast milk”. It also notes “Vitamin K does not cross the placental wall, resulting in low stores in the newborn infant”.

    • Cassandra Sorensen Trujillo
      November 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      THANK YOU! This is the exact reason why simply eating a diet in vitamin K while pregnant may not be sufficient.

  34. Mid
    September 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    you seem like a very angry person. I am disappointed that your attitude comes across as overly judgemental, arrogant and does little to support, educate and engage people in making well informed appropriate decisions about their health and their bodies. As a registered nurse and midwife, homebirthed mother of three, breastfeeding advocate, In making decisions about how to raise my children I read widely, asked advice from a range of professionals, some being medical doctors some being highly trained, skilled midwives. How about I print some of the screw ups that obs and gynes make everyday. I work in a major high risk obstetric setting, I see the screw ups, particularly new doctors make with the lives of both mother and baby. Drug errors, bad calls, lack of knowledge with a big ego is a dangerous thing, as is a bad attitude. I won’t be reading another of your dreadful blogs. You are a very upsetting person.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      September 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

      Well, that is easier than actually refuting her arguments, I guess.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      September 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      Did you happen to notice that a baby is dead? It seems like you couldn’t care less.

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

      Your concern is noted

  35. Katie Peraudeau
    September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Amy, your arrogance and lack of empathy is the reason people distrust medical professionals. Being a good physician is not just about knowledge or numbers but about your ability to connect with people and engage them to a level of trust that they will take your advice. It is counter productive to belittle and berate people that are simply trying to think critically and make purposeful decisions related to their children’s care rather than just swallow whatever health professionals recommend. Let’s not forget that this level of distrust and questioning is not unfounded. Modern medicine has made its fair share of mistakes. There are many practices that were once accepted by professionals that would never be used today and therefore, some that will be eliminated in the future. Your style of medicine is not infallible either. Perhaps you should use some of your more objective knowledge to assist people in decision making rather than judging them.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      September 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

      Thank you for your concern.

  36. Xia
    September 8, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    This is an interesting read, and a good addition to tamper with this skepticalOB article.

    Apparently, uncontrolled ^ levels of Vitamin K may cause increased chance of leukaemia for the child.

    Though, I doubt the parent(s) in this article knew about the risks anyway; they simply could not be bothered with their newborn (to-be).

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      September 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

      It’s not an interesting read: it’s made up.

      Who would take the advice of a chiropractor over a hematologist when it comes to blood clotting. Only gullible lay people.

    • Captain Obvious
      September 9, 2013 at 8:10 am #

      “”The dispute originated from the publication of two retrospective studies in the early 1990s, in which a possible association between vitamin K injections in neonates and the development of childhood leukaemia and other forms of cancer was suspected23,24. This alarming suspicion was, however, confuted by two large retrospective studies in the USA and Sweden, which failed to find any evidence of a relationship between childhood cancers and vitamin K injections at birth25,26. A further pooled analysis of six case-control studies, including 2,431 children diagnosed with childhood cancer and 6,338 cancer-free children, also confirmed the lack on any epidemiological association between vitamin K injections in neonates and an increased risk of leukaemia””

  37. Dr Kitty
    September 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm #


    Give me the evidence that convinced you, personally, that neonatal vitamin K was a bad idea. As a biochemist you would, of course, have been convinced by scientific evidence, rather than anecdote.

    So, show me the data you found convincing.
    Maybe I will to.

  38. Sullivan ThePoop
    August 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    My immune system is really strong and has always been. I hardly ever get sick, but I have a single antibody autoimmune disorder that causes a mild graves like disease, autoimmune gum disease, and autoimmune high blood pressure. They have tried to give me immune suppressants for both my high blood pressure and gum disease. Unfortunately my immune system is so strong that when they try to suppress my adaptive immune system my innate immune system becomes over active and they have no idea why. So, the only solution they have is repeat gum transplants and hope my blood pressure doesn’t cause any problems.

    • vicnicholls
      April 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

      Hope you never get the “Spanish flu” as the young died so frequently due to cytokine storms, where a strong immune system provoked the response that killed more of them than any one else.

  39. Sullivan ThePoop
    August 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    The antibodies passed in breast milk are IgA. Most vaccines induce a reaction that produces IgG antibodies. So, if you wanted to get a vaccination to protect your infant it would be better to get it while pregnant when you pass IgG antibodies through the placenta. I do not know if you can get Hep B then or not.

  40. Jeremy Rivera
    August 27, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    The objection to the Hep B vaccine isn’t based off ignorance that they might not encounter it eventually in life. That’s a fallacious and insulting argument. (as are most of your “medical” opinions, sorry I had to address your complete lack of objectivity as a medical professional. I’m sure your response will be nothing but snark and condesension, for disagreeing with you but someone needs to counter you.)
    The REAL argument is that a newborn under even the most feeble of parenting is NOT going to be doing drugs, or sharing needles or be introduced to the Hep B virus. There’s no rational reason then to add further burden to an infant who is very much in need of all the developmental resources available just to survive and thrive instead of forcing a brand new immune system to process anti-bodies for a disease it will not be encountering.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      August 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      Sure that’s the “real” argument for people who know nothing about the epidemiology of Hep B and nothing about the immune system.

      How profoundly wrong do anti-vax nuts have to be before you recognize that you have no idea what you are talking about? In the 200 year history of the anti-vax movment, they’ve been correct about NOTHING, not one single thing. But I guess batting zero doesn’t faze people who think they know more than immunologists, virologists and epidemiologists.

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      August 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      And you think that is a more intelligent reason to object? It isn’t. There is a rational reason to give Hep B vaccines to newborns. Hep B is an infection that is usually cleared if you contract it as a healthy adult. Children cannot clear it and it becomes a chronic infection because the liver has unique immune responses that cause infections that are not cleared quickly to become chronic. So, almost all people who have chronic Hep B contracted it as children long before they would have been having sex or doing any drugs. When Hep B vaccine was first introduced they gave it to older children and though it did reduce the incidence of chronic Hep B infections it was not a great enough reduction. So, they started giving it at birth and it has greatly reduced chronic Hep B infections. If those last couple of sentences are not enough rational for you, I don’t know what to say.

    • anonymous
      August 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      There are plenty of ways for someone to be exposed to Hep B. From wikipedia:

      “Transmission of hepatitis B virus results from exposure to infectious blood or body fluids containing blood. Possible forms of transmission include sexual contact,[46] blood transfusions and transfusion with other human blood products,[47] re-use of contaminated needles and syringes,[48] and vertical transmission from mother to child (MTCT) during childbirth. Without intervention, a mother who is positive for HBsAg confers a 20% risk of passing the infection to her offspring at the time of birth. This risk is as high as 90% if the mother is also positive for HBeAg. HBV can be transmitted between family members within households, possibly by contact of nonintact skin or mucous membrane with secretions or saliva containing HBV.[49] However, at least 30% of reported hepatitis B among adults cannot be associated with an identifiable risk factor.[50] And Shi et al. showed that breastfeeding after proper immunoprophylaxis did not contribute to MTCT of HBV.”

      It’s given as prophalaxis. If you ever see a young child suffering from chronic HBV you know that even minuscule transmission events are too large, especially when the child is going to have to deal with it for the rest of their lives..

    • The Engineer
      September 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      For the love of god never have a child then.

  41. Jason Lockwood
    August 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Please please please differentiate between lay midwives and Certified midwife nurse practitioners. I was made aware of this ridiculous and harmful trend in vitamin k refusal by my wife, CNM/NP.

    You can’t even fairly lump all home birth advocates together. We selected our home birth midwives (Both UCSF Med Center graduates) partly based on their ‘high transfer rate’ because my wife had seen so many bad out comes and unnecessary emergencies on the L and D ward where she works. We knew they were risk adverse and would go to the hospital at the first sign of any risk, which in our case, is what wound up happening with the birth of our son.

    I say this same thing to the home birth people who try to demonize hospital births. They sound ridiculous in their generalizations, and lump a bunch of disparate beliefs and practices together inappropriately, just like you do here.

    Which is a shame because it casts a shadow of doubt on the rest of the very real and factual information in the article.

    But other than that, thanks for sharing factual information on the subject.

  42. blusafe
    July 26, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Human breast milk is tainted by industrial waste…by-products created as a result of making things like vaccines. Even if the vaccine components themselves do not pollute, what about the packaging, plastic syringes, needles, bio-hazard waste boxes, and hospital incinerators? What about the “impurities”? Where do they end up? The argument that they go safely to an untouched waste disposal area is false. False unless you are seriously considering that mothers purposely ingest these nasty chemicals that end up in milk. Get your causality in a straight line.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      July 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      As a result of making things like vaccines? Really? Care to offer any proof or do you expect people to believe the stuff that you make up?

  43. May 1, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    While this story is indeed tragic, tragedy cannot be avoided in every case. With HDNB, the risk is so so minuscule, and there are always risks to any medication. Parents should be well informed and responsible in making decisions for their families.

    According to the actual risk of HDNB is 5 to 7 babies out of 100,000 who didn’t get the shot.That makes the actual percentages 0.005% to 0.007%. And of those 0.005-7% only 33%, or 0.00335%, will suffer severe disability or death. In other words, 3.35 infants out of 100,000 live births that are not getting a Vit K shot will suffer disability or death from hemorrhagic disease. Just some perspective in the numbers.

    There are things that make HDNB more of a risk, such as a cesarean delivery, and operative delivery using forceps or suction, hemorrhagic disease of one of the parents, preterm birth, and very low birth weight. All of these factors and actual risk percentages should be taken in to account.

    For a child whose parents have no histories of hemorrhagic disease, whose mother has a natural, non-operative, term birth, and had adequate vitamin K levels during pregnancy and breastfeeding, not getting the shot doesn’t put them at any significant risk.

    For a different numbers perspective, 1 out of 8 women, or 12.5% will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life ( However, we don’t take prophylactic measures to remove every baby girl’s breast buds since the risk of getting cancer is so statistically high. The risk of HDNB is so astronomically low, to inject the newborn population en masse without distinction is ridiculous.

    There are risks and side effects with the shot as well.

    • Jeremy Rivera
      August 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Thank you for the detailed information, and sources. Instead of fear mongering you’ve provided rational, reasonable information in the hands of people who may need it.

      • Elizabeth A
        September 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

        Actually, she’s not bothered to do at least half of the relevant math. “Rational”, sure. “Reasonable”? Can’t tell, because it’s incomplete.

    • LauraN.
      August 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

      Wow, are you for real? Just because you make a statistic look small by turning it into a decimal doesn’t mean that there aren’t dead and disabled children because of some crunchaloon parent’s irrational phobia. And yes it IS irrational if you actually bothered to look at the risks you linked to but clearly didn’t read.

      You lie about not “any significant risk.” You just made that up, as evidenced by the fact that you say adequate vitamin K levels during breastfeeding when EVERY source will list breastfeeding as a risk factor for hemorrhagic disease of the newborn regardless of maternal health.

      Morons, such as yourself, love to throw out ridiculous analogies, but yours is one of the most ridiculous I’ve seen. Vitamin K deficient bleeding prophylaxis: a simple shot that prevents a potentially fatal condition in a newborn who has no means of communicating what’s wrong with him with an amazingly low risk of side effects (none of which are comparable to death/disability from Vit. K deficient bleeding). Breast cancer prophylaxis: Surgery with significant risks like infection on a tiny body for a disease she couldn’t reasonably be expected to develop until older age when she can advocate for herself which robs her of the ability to feed any children she might bear… yeah, that’s TOTALLY comparable. Please don’t breed.

    • Elizabeth A
      September 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm #


      – There are about 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year, so 3.35 infants per hundred thousand is 1,340 cases of infant death or disability each year. I feel pretty good about preventing 1,340 terrible tragedies annually. I am not moved by arguments that come up with only a small number of terrible tragedies per (population) and declare that this is so few that they don’t matter. Wait, that’s a lie. I am moved. It makes me incredibly angry.

      – You’ve crunched the numbers on how often hemorrhagic disease of the newborn occurs, but not on how often serious side effects of the Vitamin K shot for newborns occur. You’ve provided Merck’s packaging insert for the shot, which warns about the possibility of severe reactions to intravenous administration of AquaMephyton, but the insert doesn’t say how often those reactions occur. There is a very real possibility that you’ve decided, in the absence of checkable arithmetic, to take a 3.35/100,000 chance of death or disability due to HDN instead of a 1 in a million or more chance of potentially treatable adverse reaction to AquaMephyton.

      – Even if the numbers were there, babies don’t get IV AquaMephyton (which is the method associated with risk of severe reaction). The recommended routes of administration for HDN prophylaxis in the newborn are intramuscular or oral.

      – The risk of breast cancer you cite is over a lifetime. By contrast, HDN is a risk of the first three months of life. Comparing lifetime risks with the risks of early infancy is ridiculous. There are lots of good reasons against performing an amputation on an infant to prevent a condition that would, at the earliest, arise in twenty years. If one in 8 babies developed a condition requiring cancer treatment in their first 13 weeks, I very much hope we’d be doing something about it at birth.

    • Captain Obvious
      September 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      “These omissions are surprising and regrettable since clinically significant unexpected bleeding occurs in 2.5 to 17.0 per thousand newborns not given vitamin K prophylactically (1) in the gastrointestinal or urinary tract, the umbilical stump and intracranially. Late VKDB is often manifesting as sudden central nervous system hemorrhage, and ranges from 4.4 to 7.2 per 100,000 births (1, 3). This may be an under reporting as non traumatic intracranial hemorrhage is a common cause of death in neonates and my not be attributed to late VKDB especially in developing and transition countries.”

      “A study from Vietnam reports an estimated incidence of late onset vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infants who received no prophylaxis was 116 per 100,000 births (142 and 81 in rural and urban areas respectively) with mortality of 9% (6). Late HDN presents especially among low birth with exclusively breast fed infants, often with intracranial hemorrhages without other signs of bleeding. Reports from Turkey of late HDN indicate this is a widespread problem (7-9). In India where routine vitamin K prophylaxis is not practiced on hospital reports on 42 cases of late HDN with intracranial hemorrhage over a four year period (10).”

  44. Gillian Rodgers
    March 26, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    The Factor V Leiden mutation is not a contraindication for Vitamin K shots. FVL is the most common inherited cause of hypercoagulability in people of Western European descent. It affects about 5% of Caucasians in the US. It is not standard procedure to screen for FVL in newborns prior to getting the shot, even for those with parents who know they have the mutation.

    I have one copy, too. I found out about it when I was 23, thankfully before I ever had any kind of a clotting event or pregnancy loss (although I have since miscarried twice, likely for unrelated reasons.) My pediatrician knows I have it, and hasn’t seen any reason to even bother testing my daughter for it, because at her age (3), she is still at an exceptionally low risk for hypercoagulation, even if she were homozygous. My husband, also of Western European descent, has not been tested.

    Factor V Leiden also exhibits incomplete dominance in heterozygotes. That is, heterozygotes like you and I have a 4 to 7-fold increased clotting risk over our entire lifetime compared to someone without a copy of FVL. The risk is still very low. This is in contrast to some one with two copies of the FVL mutation who has a 70 to 100-fold increased risk.

    PT testing prior to administration of Vitamin K shots is neither reasonable nor evidence-based. For one: It’s a vitamin. By definition, a vitamin is a chemical that is essential for life that is not synthesized by the body. For two: The FVL mutation is extremely common. Vitamin K shots have been routinely administered to ALL infants for the last 50 years in developed countries. If the Vitamin K shots were causing clotting events in infants with the FVL mutation, we would see a LOT of newborns, in the US and Western Europe especially, having clots, and the standard of care would be to at least screen all neonates for activated Protein C resistance prior to administering Vitamin K, and would more likely involve screening (aPC resistance) if not FVL PCR testing, of the mothers early in pregnancy (probably in the same course of bloodwork where they determine your blood type, and whether or not you are immune to toxoplasmosis or rubella.) As it is, most adults with FVL are completely unaware of it until they have a clotting event (or suffer repetitive miscarriages).

    For three: Factor V Leiden causes resistance to Protein C, which is Vitamin K-dependent, and acts as an anticoagulant. Those of us with an elevated clotting risk due to resistance to a Vitamin K-dependent chemical can only benefit from having the proper amount of Vitamin K.

    The risk of the Vitamin K shot is extremely low, even for people with the Factor V Leiden mutation. But more importantly, the risks associated with getting the shot are amazingly lower than the risks associated with NOT getting the shot. It is also easier and faster to diagnose and treat a blood clot, even in an infant, than it is to diagnose and treat an inappropriate bleed like in this article.

    Spoiling for a fight with the hospital over an unnecessary test (which requires time, resources and personnel which could all be devoted to people who actually *need* them) does not make you seem well-informed or a subscriber to evidence, and it just puts you in an unnecessarily adversarial position with people who are trying to help you and your baby.

  45. lovingfather
    March 5, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Sorry to hear about an infants death, it is a tremendous tragedy and my deepest sympathy. Has anyone looked at the composition of the vitamin k? It is a fake/synthetic form (not a true vitamin) and contains propylene glycol (additive in antifreeze in cars) which is NEVER explained to the parent. Proof that it works is like trying to tell someone that a watermelon is blue inside before you cut the skin (prove me wrong); people have been born for thousands of years without; we are still here aren’t we? Physicians will say “you understand the risks if you don’t let you baby have the shot?” Yes there has been deaths; but what about the side effects that they have not discovered yet by giving a person a whole life of illness or complications to arrive later in life. Through LIES and FEAR people are pressured to give in. Fear drives a person to death, Faith leads a person to hope.

    My wife and I just had a beautiful baby girl. It was a very long birth and we refused the vitamin k, and all vaccines. We, as all parents do, have fears and hope for the best for our child, but we chose to fight that fear and enjoy every moment with her. She is still very heathy. (immune system gets stronger if you allow the body to naturally fight) The mother’s early breast milk (colostrum) has all the infant needs.
    please do some research, look up definitions. God made everything in perfect design!

    • anonymous
      August 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      Yeah, propylene glycol is in antifreeze, it’s also in a lot of topical drugs, and anything that isn’t water soluble. The FDA considers it GRAS “Generally Recognized As Safe” for food. It’s a necessity to bind it to the injection. Who cares about the composition of the vitamin K? It is also found in leafy vegetables since plants synthesize it. The injection is just more concentrated.

      Proof that it works is the reduction of babies dying from bleeding. You could use your argument about polio shots as well couldn’t you?

      • Bombshellrisa
        September 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

        He could also extend the argument and refuse to let his child have cherries or apricots (or apples), aren’t pits of those sources of arsenic and cyanide?

    • GiddyUpGo123
      August 31, 2013 at 12:13 am #

      Where to begin? Hey did you know that breastmilk contains benzodiazepine-like substances? That’s the same chemical found in horse sedatives! Oh the horror! And canola oil, that cooking oil you once thought was so harmless? It is the same substance used in many pesticides!

      Use some logical thinking for just a second … just because a particular substance is used to produce a hazardous chemical does not mean that that substance itself must be toxic. Jeez, water is used in many of our cleaning products! I guess that means we should avoid water.

      And I just love, love, love the old “we survived for thousands of years without (technological advance of choice) so we must not need it!” Yes! The human species as a whole also survived predator attacks until we figured out how to build fires (yeah I stole that from Dr. Amy’s recent post, sorry). Guess what, nature doesn’t need to have 100% of all individual members of a species survive in order for the species itself to survive. It really just needs a very small percentage of that. So nature is perfectly happy to kill off 1 in several thousand newborns with a vitamin K deficiency, because one in several thousand newborns is meaningless to the whole species-survival agenda.

      Personally, I don’t give a crap about nature, I care about those 1 in several thousand moms and dads who would have otherwise had to watch their brand new baby die because of a problem that can be completely and safely prevented.

      God did not make everything in perfect design. If he did, no mother would ever have to lose a child to some stupid random disease like leukemia, SIDS or hemmorigic disease of the newborn.

    • Dr Kitty
      September 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      Oh dear. There is so much wrong with your post…
      I have faith that G-d gave us the intelligence and the will to seek solutions for problems like HDN.
      I don’t fear HDN, because I know that there is a safe option to prevent it.

      >99% of babies in the developing world get Vit K, and have done for many years. Show me real evidence that the population outcomes are worse with Vit K than without Vit K.

      Just out of interest, if your child developed Type 1 diabetes and needed insulin, would you want her to be treated with:
      1) human insulin made from cadaveric pancreas tissue?
      2) porcine insulin made from pig pancreas tissue?
      3) human insulin made by bacteria using recombinant DNA technology, possibly with additional amino acids not found in nature to change the timing of the effect.

      If you can come up with a coherent argument against option 3, I might be more inclined to listen to your nonsense about “fake” vitamins.

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      “we chose to fight that fear and enjoy every moment with her”
      Otherwise known as burying your head in the sand.

    • Jill
      September 25, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      God also made cancer. But we cut that out of the human body when it occurs and guess what, it prolongs life…

  46. lovingfather
    March 5, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Sorry to hear about an infants death, it is a tremendous tragedy and my deepest sympathy. Has anyone looked at the composition of the vitamin k? It is a fake/synthetic form (not a true vitamin) and contains propylene glycol (additive in antifreeze in cars) which is NEVER explained to the parent. Proof that it works is like trying to tell someone that a watermelon is blue inside before you cut the skin (prove me wrong); people have been born for thousands of years without; we are still here aren’t we? Physicians will say “you understand the risks if you don’t let you baby have the shot?” Yes there has been deaths; but what about the side effects that they have not discovered yet by giving a person a whole life of illness or complications to arrive later in life. Through LIES and FEAR people are pressured to give in. Fear drives a person to death, Faith leads a person to hope.

    My wife and I just had a beautiful baby girl. It was a very long birth and we refused the vitamin k, and all vaccines. We, as all parents do, have fears and hope for the best for our child, but we chose to fight that fear and enjoy every moment with her. She is still very heathy. (immune system gets stronger if you allow the body to naturally fight) The mother’s early breast milk (colostrum) has all the infant needs.
    please do some research, look up definitions between natural and man made. God made everything in perfect design!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      March 5, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Has anyone looked at the composition of the vitamin k?

      I have. What of it?

      It is a fake/synthetic form (not a true vitamin)

      Indeed, it is not a true “vitamin,” because it doesn’t contain an amine. “True” vitamins are amine based, of course (hence the name, “vital amine” = vitamin for short)

      Oh, that’s not what you meant? Hint: synthetic does not equal fake. (I don’t even like using the phrase “they are chemically the same” because, given that they are the same molecule, that means they are the same thing. That’s what it means). What is vitamin K if not the substance with the particular structure?

      and contains propylene glycol (additive in antifreeze in cars)

      It’s also an additive in a lot of other things, too, including ice cream and baked goods. And?

      Yes, anti-freeze is poison, but that is because of the ethylene glycol, not the propylene glycol. Did whatever dishonest anti-vax site you are parroting tell you that much? (for pete’s sake, it’s on wikipedia, so it’s not like it’s hard to find)

      If you love your daughter, you should do things that are known to help her. Vaccination is one of the most effective things you can do to protect your kids from illness. Do it.

    • Jen
      March 5, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      BOFA already provided you with accurate information about the composition of the Vitamin K shot. I’m glad to hear that your daughter is healthy. However, I think it is you who needs to do some research to understand the risks of refusing the vitamin K shot for your daughter. Breast milk does not provide adequate Vitamin K to a newborn who has underlying liver disease. In fact, breastfed babies who have underlying cholestatic liver disease are at especially high risk for a late VKDB. It is often true that cholestatic liver disease is diagnosed several weeks after birth. Some of these babies are diagnosed with liver disease during their autopsy, after a VKBD.

      My son looked no different from any other completely healthy newborn. He had an uneventful birth, following a normal pregnancy. He was just like any other baby. At 6 weeks of age, he began to look mildly jaundiced. After multiple visits to his pediatrician, he was finally diagnosed with biliary atresia at 9 weeks of age. He had a liver transplant this past June and is now an energetic 4-year-old boy. Thankfully, he had his vitamin K injection at birth.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      July 26, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      people have been born for thousands of years without; we are still here aren’t we?

      Well, some of us are. This baby, obviously, isn’t and any babies who die because you fearmonger their parents out of taking this simple prophylactic and they bleed to death won’t be either.

  47. February 23, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    C is for Chesus and K is for Kabala and country type Christian people dont like that stuff LOL

  48. February 23, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    it kills me to see my child get a shot or suffer in any way.. When they cry, I cry..

    • Gillian Rodgers
      March 26, 2013 at 1:16 am #

      You must cry an awful lot.


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