What is a Vitamin K Deficiency?
Vitamin K (VK) is essential for blood to clot properly. Infants who receive insufficient VK in utero are at high risk for developing a hemorrhagic disease. VK is found in green leafy vegetables and oils, such as soybean, cottonseed, canola, and olive oil.
- Excessive bleeding: skin, gums
- Easy bruising
- Birth defects, including underdevelopment of the face, nose, bones, and fingers
With lab tests, a hematologist can exclude other conditions that can mimic VK deficiency. A gastroenterologist is consulted only if the hematological or dietary causes of VK deficiency are excluded, given that conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and liver disease can cause a VK-deficient state.
Treatment depends on factors such as the patient’s age, health, and the cause of VK deficiency.
Vitamin Deficiencies are treated by our Division of Pediatric Hematology.