Deep vein thrombosis, also known as a blood clot, is a rare condition in children. Although it is rare it does however happen. There are many different causes for it that are different from adults. The treatment for DVT in children however is the same.
DVT is a condition where blood clots form usually in the arms or legs. It can become dangerous if it breaks loose from the vein and travels to your lungs. If this occurs you can get a pulmonary embolism. It’s very unusual for children to develop blood clots.
Why Do Some Children Get Blood Clots?
Intravenous lines are used to provide nutrition or antibiotics through a vein. If a child is receiving intravenous they can be at risk for DVT. If your child suffers from a hyper-coagulant disorder which can cause clotting, and has extended periods of immobility they could be at risk. Broken bones could also raise the risk of blood clotting in children.
Symptoms of Blood Clotting in Children
When an adult develops a blood clot they can experience pain or swelling in the area. When a child develops a blood clot these symptoms are often absent. Excessive swelling can often lead a doctor to diagnose an underlying blood clot. Unfortunately many children may not experience any symptoms at all until the blood clot has progressed to a pulmonary embolism. When this occurs the child would experience shortness of breath or chest pain due to the blood clot getting stuck in the lung.
Treatment For Children
Although they may not experience the same symptoms as adults do, the treatments for children are still the same. They would be prescribed some form of blood thinner to break down the clot. The blood thinner prevents the clot from getting any bigger and it will prevent more clots from forming.
Treatment will usually start with intravenous until the condition is under control and then the child goes home with a blood thinner in pill form. It’s usually prescribed for a week in order to be effective. The entire treatment however could take up to a few months depending on the size of the clot. If the child is unable to take blood-thinning medications surgery can be performed to remove the clot.
Blood thinners are an effective way of treating blood clots but they also increase the risk of bleeding too much. Regular blood tests have to be taken to keep tabs on the situation.
DVT is rare in children but it’s good to know the risks involved before it happens to your child. If your child is at an increased risk for it due to intravenous use or other illnesses it is best to keep a watchful eye out. The more you are informed the better you will be if a complication occurs.