Approximately 1 in 110 newborn infants are diagnosed with congenital heart defects/disease (CHD) a year. These children require advanced supportive care to treat their underlying problem. Although significant advances have been made in treating children with congenital heart diseases, these children are at increased risk of development of blood clots due to multiple reasons. These infants/children are critically sick and require central venous catheters to provide medications and nutrition. Due to small diameter of their blood vessels compared to their catheters, these catheters cause mechanical obstruction and stasis for blood flow. Stasis of blood flow is the primary cause for development of blood clots. Besides central venous catheters, multiple surgical procedures, high hemoglobin concentrations (in children with cyanotic congenital heart disease) and poor hydration further increases their risk of blood clots. These blood clots can be very serious and can lead to loss of life, loss of organs or loss of limbs.
It is important to underscore that the problem of thrombosis in children is under appreciated and there is an urgent need to develop better strategies to prevent and treat these clots. Asher James Congenital Heart Disease & Thrombosis Foundation strives to advance the therapy of children with congenital heart diseases with or without blood clots.The Foundation will support basic science, clinical and translational research activities that will directly impact the clinical care of these children.