Located in Boston, MA, the Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center provides comprehensive care and treatment for children with all forms of blood clots and clotting disorders, most notably thrombosis. With an emphasis on prevention, we treat children with deep vein thrombosis (DVT, blood clots in the limbs), pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), sinus venous thrombosis (blood clot in the brain), and arterial thrombosis.
Our program, which is run by one of the foremost experts in the field of platelets and platelet disorders, has established monitoring and risk identification guidelines that are used throughout the hospital for patients who require anticoagulation (“blood-thinning”) medications.
Thrombosis is sometimes found accidentally, but mostly because patients develop signs and symptoms of a blood clot. Our doctors perform a physical exam to evaluate symptoms such as swelling, pain at the location of the suspected clot, and redness and warmth. The diagnosis is confirmed through diagnostic imaging studies, including ultrasound, MRI and CT scans. Thrombophilia, a group of disorders that increase a child’s tendency to develop excessive and dangerous blood clots, is diagnosed through a blood sample. A blood test will evaluate if a child is clotting normally and will identify abnormalities in the levels of certain proteins in the blood. Genetic tests are used to check for hereditary disorders.
Treatment is based on several factors, but most children with thrombosis are treated with anti-coagulation therapy (“blood-thinners”). Our anticoagulation service provides ongoing monitoring and medical management of children on anticoagulation medications. These medications include oral agents such as Coumadin (warfarin), intravenous heparin, subcutaneous injections of a low molecular weight heparin such as enoxaparin (Lovenox) or dalteparin (Fragmin), or antiplatelet agents such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix) or prasugrel (Effient).
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's patients have access to the broadest set of blood disorder and pediatric subspecialty expertise available. The breadth of our expertise allows us to assemble a team of specialists to meet the specific needs of the patient.
Our multidisciplinary team is led by one of our internationally renowned pediatric hematologists and includes specialists who are experts in blood clotting, genetics, and the assessment and treatment of thrombosis. In addition, our team includes pediatric nurse practitioners with thrombosis expertise and a designated anticoagulation nurse practitioner.