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More babies hemorrhaging after parents refuse vitamin K shots

May 3rd, 2014 5:34 pm by Tom Wilemon, The Tennessean

More babies hemorrhaging after parents refuse vitamin K shots

Mark and Melissa Knotowicz declined vitamin K shots for their twins because they had heard that a preservative in the shot could lead to leukemia. (Photo by Joe Howell )

Vanderbilt physicians have diagnosed three additional babies with a rare bleeding disorder that is becoming more common in Tennessee because parents are refusing vitamin K injections at birth.

In total, seven infants between the ages of 7 weeks and 20 weeks, have been diagnosed with vitamin K deficiency bleeding in the past eight months at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The spate of cases has led doctors there to call for a national tracking system.

The disorder typically affects fewer than one in 100,000 newborns, but Vanderbilt doctors believe incidences are on the rise because of the anti-vaccine movement.

"There is no tracking of this in the U.S., unfortunately, and cases are rarely reported," said Dr. Robert Sidonio Jr. with the Vanderbilt hospital. "We are probably just seeing the tip of the iceberg, and I worry that people are missing these cases often and not considering this diagnosis when presented with a sick infant."

Read the full report on The Tennessean website.

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