i need to educate myself more on this so i would know what signs to watch for if there was a problem
post #21 of 42
11/2/09 at 1:01am
|Early onset hemorrhagic disease of the newborn is very rare. It occurs during the first hours of birth and certainly within 24 hours. (Doesn't apply to UC'ers , but we'll still be in the hospital then so I'm sure they'll notice it) The main risk factor is the use of anti-seizure drugs or a blood thinner called coumadin during pregnancy.(I don't take those)
Classic onset disease is also rare. It develops in breastfed infants within the first week after birth.
The late onset form is seen in infants older than 2 weeks up to 2 months old. It is particularly common in children of Asian descent. (We don't have Asian descent)
Risk factors include:
* Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (We don't have Saudi Arabian, Iberian descent, we do have some Northern European)
* Biliary atresia (my anatomy scan did not show this birth defect)
* Celiac disease (most common in women and caucasians, our LO is male and is multiracial)
* Cystic fibrosis (We are not carriers)
* Hepatitis (We don't have Hepatitis)
"Biliary atresia (my anatomy scan did not show this birth defect)"
I'm not sure if my comment is particularly helpful or relevant to the larger question being asked here but an anatomy scan done during pregnancy will not show any evidence of biliary atresia, the vast majority of the time. My son has biliary atresia and all my prenatal scans showed no problems with his liver. The perinatal form of biliary atresia accounts for about 90% of biliary atresia cases. Symptoms typically don't become evident until 2-8 weeks of life - which is the same period of time that infants with Vitamin K deficiency are at high risk for a late VKDB (bleeds).
I believe the reason that breastfeeding is listed as a risk factor is because many babies with late VKDB have an underlying/undiagnosed liver disease. Due to the liver disease, they are unable to easily absorb vitamins, including Vitamin K (and fat). Since breastmilk is not high in Vitamin K, this can exacerbate the problem with the vitamin K deficiency in these particular babies and increases the risk of a late bleed. For healthy breastfed babies who do not have liver disease, this is not an issue.
So, what I'm trying to say is that you really won't know if your child has biliary atresia or a number of other liver diseases (like Alpha 1 or Alagille Syndrome) at birth and in the early weeks after. Some form of vitamin K supplementation during this time can help reduce your child's risk of a brain bleed if they happen to have one of these rare diseases. I'm not sure if this is really helpful to anyone making a decision about Vitamin K but I just wanted to mention our experience with liver disease.
Also, this is a link to an article on Vitamin K supplementation, breastfeeding, and liver disease - and it mentions some stuff about oral vitamin k doses:
Thanks for the info, do you know if this is something genetic or something that tends to happen more to certain ethnicities, etc?