Q What is the incidence of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) in children?

A Julie Martchenke, RN, MSN, CS, PNP, Mary Frances D. Pate, RN, DSN, Maria Cruz, RN, BSN, and Serena Phromsivarak, RN, BSN, reply:

HIT is a complication of heparin therapy that presents in 2 forms. In the more serious, but less common HIT type II, some patients receiving heparin develop an immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, which leads to thromboembolic complications in 30% to 50% of cases.1 HIT has been diagnosed in adults for 20 years but only recently recognized in children and neonates. Because it is not fully understood or well known, HIT is probably underdiagnosed in children.2 One study found a 1% incidence of HIT type II in the neonatal intensive care unit population.3 A retrospective study in a pediatric intensive care unit population found a 2.3% incidence of HIT type II–associated thrombosis.4 Our center has...

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