Cases Of Rare Infant Illness Linked To Refusal Of Vitamin K Shots

ATLANTA (November 14, 2013) Federal health officials Thursday reported four cases of a rare infant illness in Tennessee that have been linked to parents’ refusal of a routine shot for newborns.

The four Nashville-area infants suffered brain or stomach bleeding earlier this year.

In each case, the parents declined vitamin K shots, which have routinely been given to newborns since 1961 to improve blood clotting and prevent internal bleeding.

All four children were treated with vitamin K and survived.

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the illnesses were the first tied to parents opting out of the shots.

Reports of vitamin K deficiency are rare.

The CDC said the parents believed that the shots weren't necessary or cause leukemia.

Neither is true, officials said.

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