Thrombosis (Blood Clots) in Children

  • When they help prevent bleeding, blood clots are a normal and healthy function of the human body. However, a thrombosis (or thrombus) is an excessive or dangerous blood clot that develops somewhere it shouldn’t.

    Thrombophilia refers to a group of disorders that increases a child’s tendency to develop excessive and dangerous blood clots, which can block blood supply to and damage organs and tissues. Thrombosis in children is uncommon, and is most often seen in children with complex medical problems.

    The disorder can be thought of as the opposite of hemophilia, which prevents the blood from clotting.

    How Dana-Farber/Boston Children's approaches blood clots

    Children with abnormal blood clots are treated through our Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Program. At Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, we offer advanced treatment options for children with thrombosis and thrombophilia.

    • The team’s established monitoring and risk identification guidelines quickly identify children who need anticoagulation medications (or “blood-thinners”).
    • Children may receive anticoagulation therapy to reduce the risk of developing a clot or to treat a clot.
    • Children outside of the hospital visit our outpatient center staffed by pediatric hematologists and pediatric hematology nurse practitioners very familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of thrombosis.
    • Alan Michelson, MD, director of the Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Program, is an expert in the field of platelets and platelet disorders. He is the editor of Platelets, the field’s premier academic journal on these conditions.
    • Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is home to the Center for Platelet Research Studies (, an active research program in thrombosis and anticoagulation.
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