Blood clotting disorders are a group of conditions in which there is too much clotting.
Blood clotting is a normal process. It stops you from bleeding too much when you have a cut or injury. Blood clots can fix damaged blood vessels. Usually clots go away on their own.
But blood clots can also form when they aren’t needed, causing serious problems. They may form when there is no injury or bleeding. They can block veins or arteries. This may interrupt blood flow to part of the body. The clots may prevent blood flow to organs, such as the brain, lungs, and heart.
Blood clotting disorders may be diagnosed in childhood. But they are usually found during the teen and young adult years. They are often genetic, meaning they are inherited and present at birth. But there may be no symptoms for many years.
Some of the clotting disorders are:
Clotting disorders are usually inherited conditions. Some illnesses may increase the risk of blood clots.
Many children with clotting disorders don’t have blood clots. Some things increase the risk of getting clots as children get older. These include:
Clotting disorders have no symptoms. But if a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) forms, the symptoms are:
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the lungs. This is an emergency. Symptoms include:
If you think your child may have a clot in his or her lung, call 911 or go to an emergency room right away.
Your child’s healthcare provider will take your child’s medical history and do a physical exam. The provider will also look at your child’s current symptoms and family history. The provider will likely order some tests.
Blood tests may include:
Imaging tests may include:
Your child's provider will likely refer you to a hematologist. This is a specialist in blood disorders. Medicines are the main treatment for clotting disorders. They include:
Your child may need to take a blood thinner for a long time. During high-risk times (such as having surgery) your child may need other medicines to help manage or prevent clots. These medicines will often be started while your child is in the hospital. They will be continued at home, often for several weeks or months.
Serious complications from clotting disorders are not common in children. But problems can occur. Complications include:
Work with your child's healthcare provider to help prevent clots. As your child gets older, help him or her avoid things that further increase the risk of blood clots. These include:
Since there are risks linked to pregnancy, women should get counseling before considering pregnancy.
Call your child's healthcare provider if your child has symptoms of a deep vein thrombosis, or clots anywhere in the body.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: