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Vitamin K and the Older Infant

JOHN N. LUKENS, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1972;124(5):639-640. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110170017001.
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Physicians attentive to the preventive aspects of medical practice have long recognized the importance of vitamin K prophylaxis in the prevention of hemorrhagic disease of the newborn. Pathologic bleeding due to vitamin K deficiency in older infants and children is generally approached with less familiarity. In a paper published 26 years ago in this journal, Rapoport and Dodd1 reported observations made on a group of seven infants, 2 to 12 months of age, with chronic diarrhea. Each of the infants was hypoprothrombinemic and four experienced symptomatic bleeding. Both clinical and laboratory manifestations of the coagulopathy were effectively corrected with vitamin K. The paper seems to have attracted little attention, and the subject of vitamin K deficiency in older infants with intestinal disturbances lay dormant for two decades. In recent years, reports such as that by Walters and Koch in this issue (page 641) have served to rekindle interest in

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