Vitamin K for Newborns

Update of the NHMRC Joint statement and recommendations on vitamin K administration to newborn infants to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infancy (2010)

Vitamin K helps blood to clot and is essential in preventing serious bleeding in infants. Vitamin K deficiency bleeding can be prevented by the administration of vitamin K soon after birth. By the age of approximately six months, infants have built up their own supply of vitamin K.

The 2010 NHMRC Joint statement and recommendations on vitamin K administration to newborn infants to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infancy (Joint Statement) recommends that all newborn infants should receive vitamin K prophylaxis. The Joint Statement also provides recommendations on the dosage and method of administration of vitamin K.

Updating the Joint Statement falls under NHMRC’s strategic priority of ‘supporting the translation of health and medical research into clinical practice, policy and health systems’. Under this stream, two key activities identified in the Corporate Plan 2016-17 are relevant to this work:

2.2. Providing national leadership in promoting translation of knowledge created through research into clinical practice, health policy, health services and systems and public health, and

2.3. Maintaining a leadership role in the development of public and environmental health and clinical advice designed to prevent illness, improve health, enhance clinical care and support the states and territories in achieving consistent standards.

The update of the Joint Statement is envisaged to be completed in early-mid 2019.

The NHMRC Vitamin K Working Committee

This Committee has been established to provide guidance and advice on the project.

Appointment Process for the Committee

The Vitamin K Working Committee (the Committee) is an advisory committee established by a CEO delegate under section 39 of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992. Appointments to the committee were made with consideration to the expertise required, jurisdictional distribution, gender balance and panel size. Appointments were made ensuring it comprised members with a variety of methodological expertise, professional knowledge and experience and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and consumer representation.

Terms of Reference

The Committee will oversee and provide expertise in updating the NHMRC 2010 Joint statement and recommendations on vitamin K administration to newborn infants to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infancy.  The updated Statement will reflect the best available evidence and be relevant for the range of Australian maternity service delivery contexts.  The revision of the Statement will be reflected in the accompanying 2010 brochure: Vitamin K for newborn babies: Information for parents.

In undertaking the update, the Committee will:

1. Determine the scope of the update based on consideration of:

  • the currency, accuracy and relevance of the existing 2010 Joint Statement
  • stakeholder feedback provided to NHMRC in 2016  on the 2010 Joint Statement, including new areas for potential inclusion
  • the  systematic reviews undertaken by the Cochrane Collaboration
  • committee member’s knowledge/expertise of current evidence or practice in Vitamin K administration to newborn infants to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infancy in Australia
  • any other information deemed relevant by NHMRC or the Committee.

2. Advise on any supplementary review of the evidence  required to update the 2010 Joint Statement by:

  • identifying and prioritising topics requiring the identification of new evidence published since the search period for the 2010 Joint Statement and which is not covered in the Cochrane Collaboration systematic reviews
  • advising on the scope and clinical questions for the review, and methods to identify and evaluate relevant evidence.

3. Guide the update of the 2010 Joint Statement and Brochure by considering (1) and (2) above. This may include, but is not limited to providing advice on:

  • developing recommendations using NHMRC’s preferred method (GRADE approach and Magicapp)
  • identifying gaps in evidence relating to vitamin K administration to newborn infants to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infancy
  • key stakeholders to be included in any consultation activities
  • comments received during public consultation and expert review on the draft revised Joint Statement and Brochure.

4. Advise on implementation and promotion strategies/activities to ensure consideration and uptake of the Joint Statement and Brochure across Australian states and territories.

The Committee will be effective for the period 27 March 2017 to 31 March 2019 and will report to the Council of NHMRC.

Contact the Vitamin K Working Committee

Postal address:

Public Health Team

National Health and Medical Research Council

GPO Box 1421

Canberra  ACT  2601

Email address:  publichealth@nhmrc.gov.au

Please note: Members of the Vitamin K Working Committee are unable to respond to individual enquiries.

Member Information and Disclosure of Interests

NHMRC asked each Vitamin K Working Committee member to document their interests, as part of the process of the establishment of any NHMRC committee. Members were asked to consider perceived interests as well as real interests.

Members were specifically asked to identify, to the best of their ability, work associated with the update to the Joint Statement including:

  • relevant financial interests;
  • relevant professional or organisational experience; and
  • other relationships or activities.

Throughout the project, members are required to inform NHMRC of any changes to their interests, and management strategies are put in place as needed.

Vitamin K Working Committee Members

Dr Robert Guaran (Chair)

Executive Medical Advisor, Neonatal, Pregnancy and Newborn Services Network

Relevant experience:

Professional knowledge and experience; jurisdictional representation

Associate Professor John Svigos

Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Adelaide

Relevant experience:

Professional knowledge and experience

Professor Colin Binns

John Curtin Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Public Health

Editor, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health

Editor, Health Promotion Journal of Australia

School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University

Relevant experience:

Professional knowledge and experience; guideline development committee experience

Associate Professor John Sinn

Neonatology and Paediatric and Child Health, Royal North Shore Hospital

Relevant experience:

Professional knowledge and experience

Ms Alexa McArthur

Senior Research Fellow Implementation Science, Joanna Briggs Institute, University of Adelaide

Relevant experience:

Professional knowledge and experience

Associate Professor Lisa Askie

Director, Systematic Reviews and Health Technology Assessment, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney

Relevant experience:

Methodological expertise

Professor David Forbes

Senior Medical Advisor to the Chief Medical Officer, Western Australia Department of Health

Relevant experience:

Professional knowledge and experience; jurisdictional representation

Ms Ann Hallett

Acting Clinical Midwifery Manager, Central Australia Health Service, Northern Territory Government

Relevant experience:

Professional knowledge and experience; jurisdictional representation

Ms Helen Mikolaj

Interest in health advocacy in areas of diabetes, disability, healthy lifestyle programs and general health issues including communicable diseases and mental health

Relevant experience:

Consumer representative

Dr Sandra Campbell

Clinical Research Fellow, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention, Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University

Relevant experience:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health; professional knowledge and experience