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Vitamin K policies and midwifery practice: questionnaire survey

Ansell, P., Roman, E., Fear, N.T. and Renfrew, M.J. (2001) Vitamin K policies and midwifery practice: questionnaire survey. BMJ, 322 (7295). pp. 1148-1152. ISSN 0959-535X

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Objectives: To investigate policies on neonatal vitamin K and their implementation.

Design: Two phase postal survey.

Setting: United Kingdom.

Participants: A 10% random sample of midwives registered with the United Kingdom Central Council for nursing, midwifery, and health visiting. Of 3191 midwives in the sample, 2515 (79%) responded to phase one and 2294 (72%) completed questionnaires on their current jobs (November 1998 to May 1999). In phase two, 853 (62%) of 1383 eligible midwives gave details on 2179 of their earliest jobs (start dates before 1990).

Results: All the midwives in clinical practice at the time of the survey (2271, 99%) reported that they were working in areas with official policies on neonatal vitamin K. Seven distinct policies were described: intramuscular vitamin K for all babies (1159, 51.0%); intramuscular vitamin K for babies at "high risk," oral for others (470, 20.7%); oral vitamin K for all babies (323, 14.2%); parental choice for all (124, 5.5%); parental choice for all except babies at high risk, (119, 5.2%); intramuscular vitamin K for babies at high risk only (33, 1.5%); oral vitamin K for babies at high risk only (17, 0.7%); and a disparate group of policies including intravenous vitamin K for some babies (26, 1.1%). Previous policies were (and some may still be) open to individual interpretation and were not always followed.

Conclusions: Hospital policy is not necessarily a good guide to individual practice. The primary purpose of clinical records is to document patient care, and recording practices reflect this. There is considerable variation in vitamin K policies and midwifery practice in the United Kingdom, and there is no clear consensus on which babies should receive vitamin K intramuscularly.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2001 BMJ Publishing Group.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Medicine (Leeds) > Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2008 14:15
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 09:42
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7295.1148
Status: Published
Publisher: BMJ Publishing
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1136/bmj.322.7295.1148
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4914

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