Refusal of Vitamin K by Parents of Newborns: A Survey of the Better Outcomes Through Research for Newborns Network

Jaspreet Loyal, James A. Taylor, Carrie A. Phillipi, Neera K. Goyal, Niramol Dhepyasuwan, Eugene D. Shapiro, Eve Colson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective To survey newborn clinicians in the United States regarding the frequency of intramuscular (IM) vitamin K refusal by a parent, reasons for refusal, and approaches of clinicians to refusals. Methods An electronic survey was administered to the clinician site representative (nursery director or designee knowledgeable about site-specific nursery policies) at all newborn nurseries in the Better Outcomes through Research for Newborns (BORN) network of newborn nurseries. Results Of 92 BORN sites, 85 (92%) respondents completed the survey. Frequency of IM vitamin K refusal during the past 5 years was reported as increased by 52% of respondents, unchanged by 42%, and 6% did not know. Reported frequencies of refusal of IM vitamin K was weekly (9%), a few times a month (31%), once a month (13%), once every 3 to 4 months (20%), once or twice a year (26%), or never (1%). The overall distribution of the reported frequencies of refusal differed among regions in the United States (higher in the West and the South; P < .05). Reported reasons for refusal by parents included perceptions of parents that the injection was unnecessary, lack of knowledge about vitamin K deficiency bleeding, and concern about preservatives. Approaches to refusal included attempts to educate parents, enlisting support from community clinicians, a state mandate, and prescription of oral vitamin K. Conclusions Respondents from a national sample of newborn nursery clinicians reported an increase in refusal of IM vitamin K in the past 5 years with regional variation. Approaches to refusals need further investigation to determine effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-373
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2017


  • BORN network
  • vitamin K refusal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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