Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Program

Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Program

Innovative care for Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease

We use the latest treatments and pain management techniques to care for more than 700 children with sickle cell disease each year.

Children’s Health℠ stands out for our commitment to team care for kids and teens with sickle cell disease. We bring many different doctors together – including oncologists, hematologists, neurologists and pulmonologists – to evaluate your child.

Learn more about Sickle Cell Disease

Treatments and Services

  • Erythrocytapheresis Procedure

Expert multidisciplinary care

Our team of experts work together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all areas of your child’s condition. Our care includes:

  • Diagnostic testing: Most children with sickle cell disease are diagnosed via their newborn screening test. If your child’s symptoms come later in life, we can also diagnose the disease through a chest X-ray or blood test.
  • Non-addictive pain medications: If your child is in pain, we can prescribe innovative pain medications that aren’t addictive. These medications are a better alternative to opioid medications.
Loved everything from the beginning to the end. My brother is a sickle cell survivor and words can't explain! Thank God!
Patient’s sibling
  • Blood transfusions: Transfusions increase the amount of oxygen in your child’s blood, which can decrease their stroke risk. We use the latest techniques to determine how often your child needs a transfusion, and to deliver these transfusions so they are safe and effective.
  • Folic acid: If your child has severe anemia, we can give folic acid to help overcome it.
  • Bone marrow transplant: This is the only way to cure sickle cell disease. Our doctors replace your child’s bone barrow with healthy bone marrow from a donor (typically from a close family member like a sibling). Children’s Health is among a small number of pediatric hospitals offering bone marrow transplants for sickle cell.

Specialized neurology care

Unfortunately, some people with sickle cell experience neurological complications such as stroke and headache. We offer a variety of treatments to help children and teens prevent, manage and overcome these complications. We are also working to improve treatment, by embracing innovative technologies such as Transcranial Doppler (TCD) testing. This pain-free ultrasound test measures the rate and direction of blood flow inside vessels. This can help us easily detect and treat neurological complications early.

Experts in chronic transfusion care for Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease

Transfusions are essential for many people with sickle cell, and we have significant expertise in guiding children and teens through transfusions. Our nurses and nurse practitioners manage transfusions for more than 90 children, and we’re constantly looking for ways to make transfusions even more effective. For instance, we offer the erythrocytapheresis procedure, a specialized transfusion technique that prevents iron overload.

Providing a seamless transition to adult care

We’re here to help your child manage their disease, no matter their age. We offer a program that allows teenage patients to develop a relationship with their physician that lasts into adulthood. This ensures that your child maintains care with a doctor who knows them, and a doctor they know and trust. We also provide resources to help guide the journey to adulthood.

History of innovation

From the beginning, our pediatric sickle cell program pursued the development of innovative treatment approaches. For example, our hematologists spearheaded the use of treatments that are regularly applied today, resulting in the creation of a comprehensive set of diagnostic and management guidelines for children with sickle cell disease. These treatments have been endorsed by the Texas Department of Health.

Meet the Care Team