Thrombosis | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms thrombosis?

Thrombosis symptoms in children can vary significantly depending on the size and location of the blood clot, and each child may experience symptoms differently. A thrombosis may occur anywhere in a child’s body, but most are in the legs or arms (deep-vein thrombosis or DVT) or lungs (pulmonary embolism). Other types of thrombosis include sinus venous thrombosis and arterial thrombosis.

Children with a thrombosis in the legs or arms may have the following symptoms:

  • swelling
  • pain
  • redness and warmth
  • low-grade fever
  • in some cases, you may even be able feel the clot, like a knot or rope under the skin.

If a child has a pulmonary embolism, they may experience:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath, often beginning suddenly

A pulmonary embolus is a life threatening medical emergency and you should seek help immediately if you suspect this condition in your child.

It is important to understand that some thrombosis symptoms may resemble those of other more common medical problems. Because some of these symptoms can also point to other conditions, it’s important to have your child evaluated by a qualified medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. If you have a family history of thrombosis, it is important to bring this up during evaluation for these symptoms.

What causes thrombosis?

There are three categories of causes of thrombosis: damage to the blood vessel (catheter or surgery), slowed blood flow (immobility), and/or thrombophilia (if the blood itself is more likely to clot).

Causes of thrombosis depend on whether your child has inherited or acquired thrombosis. Inherited thrombophilia is caused by certain genetic conditions while acquired thrombophilia is caused by lifestyle factors or medical conditions.

Possible factors for acquired thrombophilia  include:

  • immobility
  • obesity
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • trauma

 In teens and adults, risk factors also may include smoking or oral contraceptive use. Some patients with chronic inflammation or rheumatologic disorders may develop antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, a disorder where antibodies produced by the patient cause thrombosis to occur.