While in the Hospital
Medications and vaccinations
Hepatitis B vaccination
Hepatitis B is a serious disease that infects and damages the liver. It is spread by contact with infected blood or body fluids. An infant who is infected is at high risk of becoming a carrier of the Hepatitis B virus. One quarter of babies who become carriers die of liver disease or liver cancer.
To prevent Hepatitis B infection, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a series of three vaccinations. Sometimes the baby is given the first shot in the hospital after birth, or the baby’s health care provider may give the first shot in his/her office or clinic during the baby’s early visit.
NOTE: According to California law, children must receive the hepatitis vaccine to enter school.
Vitamin K injection
Vitamin K is needed to make blood clot. Because newborns only have small amounts of Vitamin K they are given a Vitamin K injection soon after birth to prevent bleeding.
Erythromycin eye ointment
To avoid the chance of a serious eye infection, erythromycin ointment is placed in a newborn’s eyes within the first hour of birth.
If you have questions or want more information about newborn vaccinations or medications, please check with your baby’s health care provider.
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