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Vitamin K and Erythromycin for the Newborn

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about vitamin K?

All babies are born with low levels of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps your baby's blood clot. Your baby is given an injection of vitamin K to prevent bleeding. The injection is usually given in the baby's thigh.

What do I need to know about erythromycin?

Bacteria and viruses can be passed from a mother to her baby during birth. These infections can cause blindness. Erythromycin is given to your baby to prevent blindness from these infections. It is given as an ointment or drops placed into your baby's eyes. The ointment may make your baby's eyelids look shiny or wet.

Why is it important for my baby to receive vitamin K and erythromycin right after birth?

Symptoms of bleeding or infection may not show right away. It is best to prevent these problems to avoid serious effects such as blindness or death. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about these medicines.

When should I call my baby's doctor?

  • Your baby's eyelids are swollen or red.
  • Your baby has thick, yellow drainage from one or both eyes.
  • The area where the injection was given is red, swollen, or draining pus.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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