Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease Research

A Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant from the National Institutes of Health is helping us study the genetic mutation that causes sickle cell disease, and improve kids' care. Learn More »

Why Choose Us

Find out what makes our comprehensive, stellar cancer and blood disorders care for kids so special. Learn More »

Sickle Cell Disease

Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in the Delaware Valley and Florida

Stellar Sickle Cell Care and Research

Offering comprehensive sickle cell care, Nemours is also poised to become a national leader in sickle cell research — helping to train the next generation of researchers to strive for better treatments and a cure.


Locations & Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease

 
Delaware

Wilmington

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
Get Map & Directions »
Learn More About This Location »

For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location

 
New Jersey

Voorhees

Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Voorhees

443 Laurel Oak Road
Therapy Services (Suite 200)
Pediatric Specialty Services (Suite 230)
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Get Map & Directions »

For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Fourth Friday each month; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Learn More About This Location »

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location

 
Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Philadelphia

833 Chestnut St. E., Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Get Map & Directions »

For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn More About This Location »

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location


Lancaster

Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Lancaster

2128 Embassy Drive, Suite A
Lancaster, PA 17603
Get Map & Directions »

For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Hours vary; please call
Learn More About This Location »

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location

 
Florida

Orlando

Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando

13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
Get Map & Directions »
Learn More About This Location »

For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location


Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Orlando

1717 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32806
Get Map & Directions »

For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn More About This Location »

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location

To find out which providers serve this location, please call the main number above.

Melbourne

Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Melbourne

1270 N. Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
Get Map & Directions »

For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Hours: Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn More About This Location »

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location

To find out which providers serve this location, please call the main number above.

Jacksonville

Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville

807 Children’s Way
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Get Map & Directions »

For Appointments: (904) 697-3789

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn More About This Location »

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location


Pensacola

Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Pensacola

5153 N. Ninth Ave.
Pensacola, FL 32504
Get Map & Directions »

For Appointments: (850) 505-4790

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central Time)
Learn More About This Location »

Doctors Who Treat Sickle Cell Disease at This Location

About Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease

Red blood cells, mostly made up of proteins called “hemoglobin,” are formed in the bone marrow (the red spongy material in the bones) along with white blood cells (that fight infection) and platelets (that clot blood). Sickle cell disease occurs when the body produces more of an inherited defective gene called “hemoglobin S,” instead of the normal gene called “hemoglobin A.”

When this happens, the normally smooth, flexible red blood cells turn into hard, sticky sickle-shaped cells that can plug up and damage blood vessels and organs, causing significant pain and sometimes stroke. Although sickle cell disease can occur in any child, about one in 400 African-American children and one in 1,000 Hispanic children are born with the disease each year in the United States.

Our renowned hematologists, oncologists and researchers at the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders work together to treat kids affected by sickle cell anemia and sickle cell disease (a group of inherited blood disorders that affect the red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body).


Types of Childhood Sickle Cell Disease We Treat

Types of sickle cell disease in children are based on specific inherited genetic defects. We treat all types of sickle cell disease, including:

  • sickle cell trait (marked by inheriting one hemoglobin S gene and one normal hemoglobin A gene which can be passed on; usually causes no symptoms)
  • sickle cell anemia (also called “homozygous sickle cell disease,” the most common and severe form caused by inheriting two hemoglobin S genes from both parents)
  • sickle cell hemoglobin C (a milder form marked by inheriting one hemoglobin S gene and one hemoglobin C gene, which is also defective)
  • sickle cell beta thalassemia (two types — sickle beta zero and sickle beta plus — range from mild to severe, caused by inheriting one hemoglobin S gene and one beta thalassemia gene)

Diagnosing Sickle Cell Disease in Children

Signs & Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease

Newborn screening tests help diagnose sickle cell disease and sickle cell anemia early on. Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease in children over 4 months old can vary depending on the type and the extent of the condition, but anemia is very common. Anemia causes pale skin/lips (pallor), weakness, fatigue, increased heart rate and difficulty breathing. Patients may also have jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and enlarged spleen (due to blood cells being trapped and “pooling” in the spleen).

Pain is a common symptom of sickle cell disease when blood flow blockage and tissue damage affect the bones and organs throughout the body. Cell sickling may also occur in the lungs (causing acute chest syndrome), urogenital organs, liver and kidneys. People with sickle cell disease are at risk for serious bacterial infections, leg ulcers, eye damage, joint damage and stroke. 


Testing & Evaluations

If your child possibly has sickle cell disease, Nemours’ experienced hematology care team works together to appropriately diagnose the type of the disease using a variety of tests and procedures, including:

  • thorough physical examination and medical/family history
  • hemoglobin electrophoresis (a sickle cell test)
  • other blood tests 

We also perform specialized neuroimaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose complications affecting the brain and to predict risk of stroke.

Treating & Caring for Children With Sickle Cell Disease

Your Child's Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Care Team

If we discover any type of sickle cell disease (like sickle cell anemia), our multidisciplinary (collaborative) team plans the most effective treatment personalized to your child’s needs. In addition to an experienced, compassionate nurse coordinator (who provides your child and family support, education and care coordination), Nemours’ pediatric blood disorder teams include: 

  • hematologists (blood disorder specialists)
  • pulmonologists (lung specialists)
  • orthopedists (bone specialists)
  • neurologists (specialists in brain and spinal cord disorders)
  • urologists (specialists in urinary and reproductive organs)
  • pathologists (diagnose diseases by examining body tissues, fluids and organs)
  • radiologists (diagnose diseases using medical imaging)
  • geneticists (perform genetic counseling and testing)
  • behavioral health specialists (psychologists and psychiatrists)
  • pain management specialists (anesthesiologists trained in pain management)
  • registered dietitians (nutrition specialists)
  • hematology nurses (registered nurses specializing in childhood blood disorders)  

Your care team is here to provide your family with ongoing support and follow-up. We always include you in the entire process, because we truly believe in the healing power of families and that you know your child best.

Learn More About Nemours’ Pediatric Hematology Care Teams in Your Area »


Innovative Sickle Cell Disease Treatment at Nemours

Treating sickle cell disease depends on the type, severity, resulting medical conditions, your child’s age and overall health, and can include one or more of the following:

  • blood transfusions (adding red blood cells intravenously, or through the veins)
  • erythrocytopheresis (red blood cell exchange transfusion to treat serious complications)
  • antibiotics (for infections that may result from the condition)
  • hydroxyura therapy (to stimulate fetal hemoglobin production to reduce complications of sickle cell)
  • surgery (to remove the spleen, gallbladder or treat other complications)
  • cerebral revascularization (surgical procedure to treat children with disease affecting blood flow to brain)
  • blood and bone marrow transplant (also called a “BBMT,” “BMT” or “stem cell transplant”)
For your child’s overall health and wellness, we also prescribe:

Learn More About Pediatric Hematology Treatment at Nemours »

Additional Resources & Support for Families

 
Nemours Support Services

Nemours provides an array of support services to help your child and family throughout the entire journey. Our supportive care begins on the very first day we meet, and continues beyond treatment because at Nemours, your child and family become part of our own.  

Our services include: 
  • patient and family education
  • social work
  • mental health counseling
  • Child Life services
 
Informative Articles & Videos for Parents From Nemours’ KidsHealth
 
Trusted Information About Sickle Cell Disease

Hope and Destiny: The Patient and Parent’s Guide to Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait: This informative guide is given to parents of children with sickle cell disease.

Nemours’ Eating Well With Sickle Cell (PDF): This cookbook, created by Nemours’ sickle cell disease experts, helps kids with sickle cell achieve better nutrition and improved energy. 

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America: The SCDAA works to improve the quality of health, life and services for individuals, families and communities affected by sickle cell disease and related conditions, and promotes the search for a cure.

 
General Blood Disorder Information & Education

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: The institute is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and promotes the research, prevention and treatment of heart, lung and blood diseases.

National Institutes of Health: The institute provides a vast amount of information on diseases, treatments and research, including the informative site, Medline Plus. 

 
Blood & Bone Marrow Resources

Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network: BMTinfonet.org provides information and support for patients and families before, during and after transplant.

The Bone Marrow Foundation: They offer information on financial assistance and resources to bone marrow/stem cell transplant patients and their families. 

Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR): The center disseminates information on blood and marrow transplant research.

National Marrow Donor Program: The site contains info about marrow and cord blood donation and transplantation.

National Bone Marrow Transplant Link: The organization helps patients, caregivers and families cope with the social and emotional challenges of bone marrow/stem cell transplantation, from diagnosis through survivorship. They provide information and personalized support servic

Appointments & Referrals

Delaware, Pennsylvania & New Jersey

(800) 416-4441


Florida
Jacksonville Area

(904) 697-3789

Orlando Area

(407) 650-7715

Pensacola Area

(850) 505-4790

Learn About Our Locations »


International
Patients

+1 (302) 651-4993

Our Goal: A Better Tomorrow

At the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, we strive to maximize every child's quality of life — today and for many tomorrows. Watch Video »

Top-Notch Cancer Research

We bring the latest scientific advances from the laboratory bench to the bedside to improve care and strive for a cure. Watch Video »