Venous thrombo-embolism (VTE) is increasingly recognised in paediatric practice. Few clinical trials have been performed in this area in children and management is largely extrapolated from adult practice where there is a considerable evidence base.

This is likely to be unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are significant differences in epidemiology and potential differences in the mechanisms for VTE in this age group. Secondly, many aspects of haemostasis are age-dependent, which has implications for the use of anticoagulants in the paediatric population. Thirdly, there are very limited data available on the safety and efficacy of anticoagulants to manage specific indications in paediatric practice, often with limited paediatric formulations available.

In addition, children may survive for a prolonged period following these events so that long-term consequences may be highly significant in this age group. The aim of this guideline is to provide a rational basis for the investigation and management of children aged 1 month–16 years with VTE, including cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT).

The guideline is targeted at healthcare professionals involved in the management of children and adolescents with VTE, particularly paediatric haematologists.

Declaration of Interests

The BSH paid the expenses incurred during the writing of this guidance. None of the authors had conflicts of interest to declare. All authors have made a declaration of interests to the BSH and Task Force Chairs which may be viewed on request.