An Act To Prevent Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding and Eye Damage in Infants
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §1531, as enacted by PL 1983, c. 848, §2, is amended to read:
§ 1531. Care of infants after birth
Every physician, midwife or nurse in charge shall instill or cause to be instilled into the eyes of an infant upon its birth one or 2 drops of a prophylactic solution prescribed by the department and provided without cost by the department , except an infant whose parents object to this procedure on the grounds that it conflicts with their religious tenets and practices. If one or both eyes of an infant become reddened or inflamed at any time within 4 weeks after birth, the midwife, nurse or person having charge of the infant shall report the condition of the eyes at once to a physician licensed under Title 32, chapter 36 or 48. Every physician, midwife or nurse in charge shall administer 0.5 or 1 milligram, based on the infant's weight, of vitamin K to an infant intramuscularly. Failure to comply with this section shall be is punishable by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment for not more than 6 months.
This bill requires every physician, midwife or nurse in charge at the birth of an infant to administer vitamin K to an infant intramuscularly to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infants. This bill also removes the exemption for religious tenets and practices for the administration of a prophylactic solution instilled into an infant's eyes at birth.