Northeast Ohio’s Most Comprehensive Program for Sickle Cell Disease in Children
The Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital includes The Sickle Cell Anemia Center. This center is home to the largest inherited blood disorders program in northeast Ohio. In cooperation with local and regional pediatricians and family physicians, we help more than 250 children manage the disease. We aim for all our pediatric patients to reach their full potential as thriving adults.
What is Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle cell disease is discovered within the first 24 hours your newborn enters this world. A blood test checks for the defective form of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that causes sickle cell disease. This sickle cell test is a required newborn screening at every hospital nationwide.
Children with sickle cell disease make an abnormal type of hemoglobin. This causes red blood cells to be sticky and clump together, making it hard for them to move through the body. With sickle cell disease, the body's organs and tissues don’t get enough oxygen, which can lead to organ damage.
Sickle Cell Anemia Symptoms
The failure of blood cells to move through the body smoothly in sickle cell disease can cause a number of symptoms. These include
- Episodes of severe pain, or pain crises
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Frequent infections
Our specialists are available to provide treatment and long-term health management for children and young adults with all types of sickle cell disease. Since 1989, we have participated in national research projects to ensure our patients are on the leading edge of sickle cell care.
Team of Pediatric Experts for Patients Living with Sickle Cell Disease
Our fellowship-trained, board-certified specialists understand the challenges for children with sickle cell anemia. Our sickle cell management team proactively monitors any potential complication or complexity that may impact your child.
By working collaboratively, we do everything we can to prevent these complications, and help patients manage the ones that arise. Our patients also enjoy the convenience of being able to see the specialists they need, all in one place. Our highly skilled doctors are experts in the following areas:
- Blood diseases (hemoglobinopathy)
- Brain and nervous system (neurology)
- Eye diseases (ophthalmology)
- Genetics counseling
- Heart diseases (cardiology)
- Lung diseases (pulmonology)
- Reproductive health (gynecology)
- School intervention
Personalized and Innovative Sickle Cell Disease Treatments
There are a number of innovative therapies and treatments available for sickle cell patients today. We have an active research program so our care team can stay ahead of the latest medical advances. Our primary goal is to keep your child as healthy and comfortable as possible.
Once diagnosed, our multi-disciplinary team of experts collaborates to care for your child from infancy through young adulthood. We also work together to guide the transition into adult care. We are committed to providing the lifelong care you and your child need with compassion, expertise and a community of support.
Our preventative-centered approach to care helps minimize symptoms and avoid complications. Therapies and treatment options for children with sickle cell disease include:
- Infection prevention
- Pain relieving medications
- Hydroxyurea therapy to reduce painful crises
- Blood transfusions
- Bone marrow transplant / stem cell transplant
We work with each patient and family to determine the best course of treatment for their particular situation.