CareTalk: Blog for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Get insights and inspiration from Nemours’ experts in Hematology/Oncology.
As a parent, hearing your child has sickle cell disease can be overwhelming. But with early diagnosis, progressive treatment, and regular follow-up care, Nemours' board-certified pediatric hematologists — doctors who treat blood disorders — can help your child manage sickle cell anemia symptoms and live an active and productive life.
Sickle cell disease or sickle cell anemia is a genetically inherited blood disorder, detected through a blood test. The disease is passed down from both parents who carry an altered hemoglobin gene, which causes their red blood cells to take on an abnormal (sickle) shape rather than the normal, smooth disc shape.
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Learning your child has sickle cell disease can be frightening — but at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, our board-certified pediatric hematologists — doctors who treat blood disorders in children — can help calm your fears. Our specialists will care for your child using the latest advancements in treating sickle cell anemia symptoms.
Children and teens throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Southern New Jersey, diagnosed with all types of cancers or blood disorders — including sickle cell disease — are cared for by our experienced specialists at the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD) — a center dedicated to providing expert and compassionate care to children with all types of blood disorders and cancers. In addition, the NCCBD gives our pediatric hematology experts the opportunity to collaborate on research efforts throughout all Nemours locations.
Sickle cell disease is a genetically inherited blood disorder that occurs when a child inherits an altered hemoglobin gene from both parents which causes their red blood cells to take on an abnormal (sickle) shape rather than the normal, smooth disc shape. These abnormally shaped cells clog small blood vessels in your child’s body, impairing blood flow and resulting in pain and organ damage.
Delaware, like most states, requires newborn screening — a simple blood test — for sickle cell disease. If your child’s screening test suggests a diagnosis of sickle cell, our pediatric hematology specialists in our Sickle Cell Program, will begin the process of caring for your child.
At Nemours, our goal is to help your family and your child learn to successfully adapt to living with a chronic condition like sickle cell disease.
Members of our Sickle Cell Program offer a daylong comprehensive outpatient clinic each week for children with sickle cell disease and their families. As advances in medical treatment for sickle cell anemia symptoms improve, so does the lifespan and quality of life for your child.
Early diagnosis and progressive sickle cell anemia treatment — along with regular and long-term follow up care — is important to help your child live an active and healthy life.