Intended for healthcare professionals


Neonatal vitamin K prophylaxis in the British Isles: current practice and trends

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 11 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:632
  1. J S Barton, senior paediatric registrara,
  2. J H Tripp, senior lecturer in child healtha,
  3. A W McNinch, consultant paediatriciana
  1. a Department of Child Health, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter EX2 5DW
  1. Correspondence to: Dr J S Barton.
  • Accepted 18 January 1995

In 1992 an unexpected association was reported between intramuscular vitamin K prophylaxis in the neonatal period and later childhood cancer.1 Although unconfirmed, the report obliged paediatricians to review their prophylaxis policies and led the British Paediatric Association to recommend the routine use of oral vitamin K in all healthy neonates, reserving intramuscular prophylaxis for those at greatest risk of vitamin K deficiency bleeding.2 We have documented changes in prophylaxis policies so that any consequences can be assessed in terms of either the incidence of vitamin K deficiency bleeding or any possible side effects.

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Changes in routine vitamin K prophylaxis in British Isles since 1970. Figures are percentages

Materials, methods, and results

In October 1993 a questionnaire was sent to every neonatal unit listed by the Neonatal Nurses' Association requesting …

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