The first article that I wrote about vitamin K was published in 2001 and was called Vitamin K: a flaw in the blueprint?, where the title reflected the ideological and practical question that most interested me at the time; that of whether nature had really ‘got it wrong’. This article generated some really interesting discussion with a lovely paediatrician named Edmund Hey, which I have discussed in my book, Vitamin K and the Newborn.)
I continue to be interested in this ideological question, especially as vitamin K really does seem to be the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut. Several thousand babies need to be given vitamin K in order to prevent each case of vitamin K deficiency bleeding (or VKDB; a disorder formerly known as haemorrhagic disease of the newborn). Unfortunately, there is little research interest (as is so often the case) in questions about how we might be able to pick out the babies who are truly at risk rather than giving it as universal prophylaxis and whether and how it might be possible to increase available vitamin K through maternal diet or other factors.
Some of the papers and booklets that I have written about vitamin K and now inevitably out of date, as our knowledge has increased and changed over time. This includes the 2003 version of my Vitamin K and the Newborn booklet, which should no longer be used. Some of my older articles are still available on this site and elsewhere, but please be aware that some of the information within them (as with articles by many people on many topics) is now not the most recent. Some of these older articles include Deconstructing Prophylaxis Part 1, Deconstructing Prophylaxis Part 2, Vitamin K: the chaos continues and Vitamin K: what have we learned in a decade?
The publication of the new book in 2017 led to my updating and adding more blog posts on this topic, and these final resources include Five things parents should know if they decide to decline vitamin K for their baby and Engendering rather than endangering trust.