If your child is diagnosed with a pediatric blood disorder, Nemours’ pediatric hematology experts are here to help. Our board-certified hematologists (pediatric hematology doctors who specialize in conditions of the blood) evaluate, diagnose, and treat all types of blood disorders in children, including sickle cell anemia.
Our family-centered approach focuses on your whole child, not just the blood disorder. In addition to specialized treatments, we offer complementary therapies to help minimize your child’s fears about what’s to come next. Our highly-trained team of doctors, pediatric hematology nurses, social workers, psychologists, and others on your child’s care team will help guide you throughout your child’s treatments.
Phone: (407) 650-7000
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- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Resources for Children with Life-threatening Illnesses
Make-A-Wish Foundation: This is the nation’s largest wish-granting organization, giving hope, strength, and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Dreams Come True: This organization grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses between the ages of 2½ and 18.
Camp Boggy Creek: Located in Eustis, FL, this year-round, free camp works in association with the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, and is open to children with cancer and blood disorders between the ages of 7 and 16, and their families.
As a parent, you’re always concerned with keeping your child safe and healthy. So when your child is diagnosed with a blood disorder, you’d do most anything to get the best medical treatment for your child. At Nemours Children’s Clinic, Orlando, our board-certified pediatric hematologists (doctors who specialize in treating blood disorders in children) have the knowledge and resources to meet the physical and emotional needs of your child and your family.
Blood disorders are diseases of the blood including:
- red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body’s tissues
- white blood cells, which help your child’s body to fight infections
- platelets, which work to help your child’s blood clot properly
- clotting factors, proteins found in blood that help stop bleeding after a cut or surgery
Types of Red Blood Diseases We Treat
- Iron-deficiency anemia: low iron levels that lead to decreased hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen through the blood to all parts of the body
- G6PD deficiency (also called RBC enzyme abnormalities): an inherited condition in which a child lacks an enzyme that protects red blood cells
- Hemolytic anemias: the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells
- Sickle cell disease: a common inherited disorder caused when the red blood cells become sticky and oddly shaped
- Thalassemia (Cooley’s anemia): a genetic condition in which one of the two proteins that help make up hemoglobin in red blood cells is lacking
- Neutropenia: caused by a decreased amount of white blood cells that may be caused by disease or chemotherapy treatment
- Anemia: due to a chronic condition such as kidney disease, cancer, or lead poisoning
Types of White Blood Cell Diseases We Treat
- Neutropenia: a condition caused by a decrease of white blood cells, as a result of disease or chemotherapy treatment
- Leukemia: a cancer of the blood that develops in the spongy center of some bones (called the bone marrow)
- Lymphoma: a blood cancer that develops in your child’s lymph system and includes two types: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Myelodysplastic syndrome: blood cancer affecting the bone marrow
Types of Platelets Diseases We Treat
- Thrombocytopenia: a condition caused by too few platelets and results in abnormal bleeding
- Thrombocytosis: a condition caused by too many platelets, which can lead to clots in the blood vessels
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: caused by a low number of platelets that results in abnormal bruising and bleeding
- Qualitative platelet disorders
Our pediatric hematology experts are knowledgeable in treating children with hemophilia, an inherited, uncontrolled bleeding disorder. Children diagnosed with hemophilia either lack or have a low supply of proteins in their blood called “factors:” factor VIII or factor IX. These factors help your child’s blood to clot after an injury, preventing excessive bleeding.
There are three main types of hemophilia:
- hemophilia A: the most common form, caused by a lack of blood clotting factor VIII
- hemophilia B: caused by a low supply of factor IX
- von Willebrand disease (vWF): this type of hemophilia causes prolonged bleeding
Symptoms of hemophilia include:
- excessive bleeding
- bruising easily
- joint bleeds (causing chronic pain and immobility)
- bleeding into the muscles (causing swelling, pain, and redness)
- bleeding from injury or in the brain (brain hemorrhage)
Treatment for hemophilia depends on your child’s severity and may include:
- factor concentrates
- blood transfusions
- limiting contact sports
- immunizations administered under the skin rather than in the muscle
Many treatments and other services are offered at Nemours, including:
- chemotherapy: offered Monday through Friday, each of our chemotherapy rooms are equipped with TVs, DVDs, toys, age-appropriate Wii video games, and other services to help distract your child from treatment
- specialized blood testing and analysis in our state-of-art lab
- blood banking: a process that takes place in a hospital-based lab to ensure donated blood is safe before it’s used for transfusions
- transfusions: a procedure in which your child is given whole blood or one part of it through an intravenous (IV) line
- bone marrow transplant: a procedure that destroys cancer or abnormal cells with chemotherapy, and then re-introduces healthy donor stem cells in your child’s body
In addition to specialized treatments, we offer complementary services to help kids feel better physically and emotionally, such as:
- Pet therapy: Teams of dogs and their handlers visit children and families in waiting rooms each week to provide a calming distraction to children as they interact with the dogs.
- Art therapy: With the help of volunteers, children with cancer are encouraged to express their artistic talents with drawings and paintings, many of which grace the walls of our clinic.
- Beaded journey: This program offers a distraction to children receiving chemotherapy and other treatments by giving them a different colored bead documenting the various procedures on their journey. Volunteers come to the clinic with sewing machines and work with children, helping them sew on the beads to create fun pillowcases, puppets, and other keepsake items.
Our family-centered approach focuses on your whole child, not just the disease. Helping to guide you throughout your child’s diagnosis and treatment, our highly trained team includes an entire collection of health care providers and support service members:
- board-certified pediatric hematology doctors
- specially trained pediatric hematology nurses
- licensed clinical social workers
- medical assistants
- registered dietitians
- Child Life specialists, who provide supportive and educational services, and activities such as art and music therapy, to help promote positive coping strategies and understanding of your child’s medical condition
Other specialists who may be on your child’s care team include:
- psychiatrists and psychologists
- endocrinologists, who help treat problems relating to the endocrine system or glands
- nephrologists, who treat problems with the kidneys
- pulmonologists, who treat problems with the lungs
- gastroenterologists, who treat problems with the stomach
- ophthalmologists, who treat problems with the eyes
- infectious disease specialists
- orthopedic surgeons
- pediatric surgeons
- ENT specialists
- genetic specialists
We may know how to treat your child’s condition, but no one knows your child better than you. That’s why we want you to be an active participant in the decision-making process for your child’s treatment. We’ll explain every step in easily understandable terms, present all options (including alternative methods), and invite your input.
Whatever you’re facing, know that at Nemours we do whatever it takes to give your child the very best, most compassionate treatment possible. We treat every child as we would our own — your child, our promise.