The conventional methods of administering vitamin K to the newborn infant are not ideal. Oral administration of oily solutions involves the danger of lipid pneumonia as well as of damage caused by the irritating naphthoquinones themselves. Parenterally injected oily solutions of synthetic vitamin K cause encapsulation of the oily depot and are slowly absorbed. This disadvantage has in part been overcome by the use of water-soluble derivatives. However, the irritant effect of the naphthoquinones remains. Moreover, an injection into a newborn infant should if possible be avoided.
Percutaneous administration of vitamin K would overcome all these disadvantages and popularize the general use of this preventive medium. It is true that this route of administration is incompatible with exact dosage. However, vitamin K seems generally to be so overdosed that even the loss of a material part of the usual 1 mg. dose would not be critical. Sells, Walker and Owen