Health & wellbeing

Several serious illnesses have been reported in the United States after parents' refusal of a vitamin K jab to be given to their baby. American magazine Mother Jones was the first to report this.

At the children's hospital at Vanderbildt University in Nashville, Tennessee, for example, seven children have been treated for internal bleeding caused by lack of vitamin K. The condition at its worst is very serious and can lead to permanent neurological problems if the bleeding takes place in the brain, or even to death.

The lack of vitamin K is such a rare condition that the doctors first thought that the children were suffering from some kind of blood poisoning. Only when the parents informed that they had refused the vitamin K jab for their babies did the doctors understand what was happening. The jab gives nearly 100 per cent protection against the bleeding caused by lack of vitamin K.

Some parents who had refused the vitamin K jab for their children were also opposed to vaccination. The reasons the parents gave include fear that the vaccines would cause leukemia or that they were unnecessary, or that they wanted to protect their children from toxic substances.

As there are several websites online opposing vitamin K vaccinations, the doctors fear that they have only seen the top of the iceberg. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA, the majority of babies born in hospitals get the vitamin K as recommended, but those born out of hospitals in birth centres were worryingly often lacking the vitamin K jab.



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