Undoubtedly, you were distressed when you learned that your child is at risk of developing a bleeding disorder because of Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon. But at Boston Children's Hospital, we view the diagnosis as a starting point: Now we're able to begin the process of treating your child—shrinking the tumor and increasing the platelet count—so that we may ultimately return your child to good health.
We treat the underlying vascular tumor, not the KMP itself. Please see the links below to your child's vascular tumor to see how we are currently approaching treatment decisions.
We want to maximize the safety and effectiveness of whatever therapy you and your child's doctor decide upon.
- Supportive care involves preventing and treating infections and side effects of treatment to keep your child as comfortable as possible while we're working to shrink the tumor and increase your child's platelet count.
Continual follow-up care
A schedule of follow-up care will be determined by your child's physician and other members of your care team to see how your child is responding to the therapy and check for recurrence of the tumor, a drop in platelet count or a worsening of the lesion.
And after we have succeeded in shrinking the tumor and treating the Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon, there may be some residual marks on your child's skin. Depending on where they are and how large they are, you may want to consider a cosmetic procedure, which can be done by one of our plastic surgeons.
Coping and support
We understand that you may have a lot of questions when your child is diagnosed with Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon. We hope that this site reassures you and begins to prepare you for the next steps in treating your child's underlying vascular tumor. There are also a number of other resources to help you and your family through this difficult time.
Patient education: From the first office visit, our nurses will be on hand to walk you through your child's treatment and help answer any questions you may have —What symptoms might my child have? What do we do next? They will also reach out to you by phone, continuing the care and support you received while at Children's.
Parent to parent: Want to talk with someone whose child has been treated for a vascular tumor associated with KMP? We may be able to put you in touch with other families who can share their experience.
Faith-based support: If you are in need of spiritual support, we will help connect you with the Children's chaplaincy. Our program includes nearly a dozen clergy representing Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Unitarian and United Church of Christ traditions who will listen to you, pray with you and help you observe your own faith practices during your hospital experience.
Social work and mental health professionals: Our social workers and mental health clinicians have helped many other families in your situation. We can offer counseling and assistance with issues such as coping with your child's diagnosis, stresses relating to coping with illness and dealing with financial difficulties.
On our For Patients and Families site, you can read all you need to know about:
- getting to Children's
- navigating the hospital experience
- resources that are available for your family
Our Vascular Anomalies Center offers links to organizations that offer support and education for parents who have a child with a vascular anomaly.
| Integrative therapies |
Our patient-centered approach means that we want your child to not only get better, but also feel good along the way. Throughout the hospital, you¹ll find clinicians trained in therapies that can make your child feel more comfortable, learn to shift focus away from pain and enjoy some peaceful moments during what may be an anxious time. Read more about how acupuncture, guided meditation, guided imagery, massage, Reiki and therapeutic touch could help your child.
| Child Life specialists |
"Don't forget to tell them the rules," 7-year-old Lia DiFronzo says to Amber Soulvie, her Child Life specialist. Read more about how our Child Life help children like Lia feel comfortable in the hospital.