Sadly, children are not immune from blood clots. Blood clots are more common in adults, but can occur in children as well.
Annual estimates of blood clots in children is about 1 in 10,000.
5.3 per 10,000 children in pediatric hospital admissions with blood clots.
24 per 10,000 hospital admissions in the neonatal intensive care unit with a clot.
Newborns and babies younger than 1 year are at the greatest risk for blood clots.
Children with cancer are at a higher risk of developing blood clots.
Teenage girls have twice the rate of blood clots as teenage boys, and this is due to the use of birth control and pregnancy.
What Causes Blood Clots in Children
*Damage to veins
–Usually caused by a central line (a device inserted by a medical professional to provide direct access to the blood for giving medication or drawing blood)
* Poor blood flow in the veins. This occurs with immobility from a hospital stay.
* Genetic blood clotting conditions
* Illnesses like cancer, intestinal disorders, and serious infections of the blood, throat/neck, and bones.
* Congenital heart disease
* Autoimmune disorders
* Birth control medications–increases the risk in teenage girls
* Certain medications
Treatment of Blood Clots in Children
Typical treatment for a child is undergone in two steps.
1. An intravenous anticoagulant called heparin is given for five to seven days.
2. Warfarin(coumadin) is then given orally as a blood thinner. This medication may be continued for several months thereafter.
Surgery to remove a blood clot may be considered if the child cannot safely take a blood thinner.
Blood tests are necessary to check blood clotting levels when receiving treatment with heparin or Warfarin.