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 Phillipi, Neera K. Goyal, Niramol Dhepyasuwan, Eugene D. Shapiro, Eve Colson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 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)
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 18 2016



  • BORN network
  • Vitamin K refusal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this