Haemorrhagic disease of the newborn

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Not to be confused with Hemolytic disease of the newborn.
Haemorrhagic disease of the newborn
Classification and external resources
Specialty pediatrics
ICD-10 P53
ICD-9-CM 776.0
DiseasesDB 29544
MedlinePlus 007320
eMedicine ped/966
MeSH D006475

Haemorrhagic disease of the newborn, also known as Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB) is a coagulation disturbance in newborns due to vitamin K deficiency. As a consequence of vitamin K deficiency there is an impaired production of coagulation factors II, VII, IX, X, protein C and protein S by the liver.

Signs and symptoms[edit]

The disease causes an increased risk of bleeding. The most common sites of bleeding are the umbilicus, mucous membranes, gastrointestinal tract, circumcision and venepunctures.


Newborns are relatively vitamin K deficient for a variety of reasons. They have low vitamin K stores at birth, vitamin K passes the placenta poorly, the levels of vitamin K in breast milk are low and the gut flora has not yet been developed (vitamin K is normally produced by intestinal bacteria).


Treatment consists of vitamin K supplementation.[1] This is often given prophylactically to newborns shortly after birth.