COLUMBIA (WACH) --- When the Shaker family had their twins, they decided against immunizations.
â??Immunizations donâ??t seem very natural. So I just wanted to stay away from them at least for a year,â?? says Melissa Shaker, mother.
But two months after bringing the boys home, baby Silas turned very pale.
â??Like he looked like he was dying white. It was scary,â?? says Shaker.
â??One of the first questions that was asked of her in the hospital was did you get the vitamin K shot?â?? says Mark Shaker, father
The Shakers hadnâ??t. Silas had vitamin K deficiency and suffered multiple brain bleeds.
Typically the blood clotting disorder only affects 1 in 100,000 babies. But Silas is 1 of 7 cases Vanderbilt doctors have seen in the last year.
â??Had we known some of these things, we could have made smarter decisions,â?? says Shaker.
â??Thankfully he was one of the cases that weâ??d seen after weâ??d already seen a couple of cases and so we gave vitamin K immediately to this child,â?? says Dr. Robert Sidonio, Vanderbilt University
Doctor Sidonio believes the numbers could surge in the future because of the trend of parents refusing immunizations.
â??Probably somewhere in the range of 1 in 100 to 1 in 1000 kids will develop this,â?? says Dr. Sidonio.
While doctors were able to stop the bleeding in Silas, he has to take medications for seizures and heâ??s in physical therapy to retrain his left side.
â??Only time will tell. You know, will he respond to therapy? Will there be any other residual side effects of this?â?? says Shaker.
To be safe, Silasâ?? twin Abel was also treated and is doing fine.
Doctor Sidonio says many parents have declined the vitamin K shot because of a single study circulated on the internet linking it to leukemia.
But he says at least 10 studies since then have shown there is absolutely no link.