Vitamin K deficiency is rarely seen in adults (measured by the overall coagulation tests), however deficiency in the newborn or hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN) remains a significant worldwide cause of infant morbidity and mortality. The disease can be subdivided into three clinical patterns:
> early HDN= within 24 hours after birth
There are several hypotheses for the poor vitamin K status of the newborn. First, the placental barrier for maternal vitamin K is low, and second, the vitamin K content of human milk is low. Therefore, breast fed babies have a higher incidence of classical or late HDN. The use of medication during pregnancy is another reason for inducing a poor fetal vitamin K status. It is known that anticonvulsants and tuberculostatics interfere with vitamin K metabolism and increase the incidence of early HDN. As prophylaxis for HDN, vitamin K is given routinely to newborns in all developed countries. The route of administration is either orally or intramuscularly.