Factor V Leiden (five LY dehn) is an inherited blood disorder. It is not contagious (it cannot be passed through person-to-person contact). It is genetic (in the genes). Genes are tiny parts of cells that tell the cells how to grow. We inherit a set of genes from each parent. Doctors can find out if your child has Factor V Leiden by genetic testing. Children who have Factor V Leiden have a slight risk for developing blood clots. This can happen after a surgery or illness, or if a person does not move around enough (immobility).
Signs and symptoms
Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has any symptoms of a blood clot.
Early signs of blood clot are:
- Leg or arm pain
- Leg or arm swelling
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Most people with Factor V Leiden do not develop blood clots and do not need treatment.
If blood clots become an issue, "blood-thinning" medicines (like Enoxaparin) can be used. This will halt growth of the clot and reduce the risk of future clots.
Since Factor V Leiden is an inherited condition, there is no way to prevent it. There are, however, lifestyle choices that reduce the risk of abnormal blood clots:
- Get regular physical activity.
- If on a long airplane flight, stand up and move around regularly.
- If on a long car trip, stop about every 2 hours and walk for a few minutes.
- Avoid estrogen-containing birth control.
- Do not smoke cigarettes.
HH- I-420 5/17 Copyright 2017, Nationwide Children's Hospital