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Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamin K Deficiency

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.

Symptoms

  • Excessive bleeding: skin, gums
  • Easy bruising
  • Birth defects, including underdevelopment of the face, nose, bones, and fingers

Diagnosis

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

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.