Sickle Cell Program
At the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center Sickle Cell Program, our experienced hematologists provide your child with ongoing care through initial diagnosis, treatment and long-term health maintenance. We care for children and young adults with sickle cell disease of all types, ranging from more common forms such as HbSS, HbSC and sickle-beta thalassemia, to the rarest forms of the disease.
Expert, coordinated care
The physicians, nurses and social workers at our Sickle Cell Program help care for more than 200 affected children and their families. We work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan aimed at keeping your child healthy. Our approach is centered on education and prevention: we screen frequently for acute complications and teach you how to identify the early signs of life threatening or chronic complications.
Our Sickle Cell Program has adopted a leadership role in improving the treatment and quality of life for children affected by sickle cell disease. We are a part of the Boston Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, one of ten National Institute of Health-funded centers in the United States and a site for the Sickle Cell Disease Clinical Research Network. Regionally, we are also a member of the New England Pediatric Sickle Cell Consortium.
Our team of experts includes:
- pediatric hematologists
- dedicated mid-level providers with sickle cell expertise
- social workers
Sickle Cell Clinic
Children with sickle cell disease are treated on an outpatient basis through our Hematology Clinic, which is held on Wednesday mornings and Monday and Friday afternoons on the 6th floor of the Fegan building at Children's Hospital Boston.
We also see patients at our three satellite clinics in Lexington, Peabody and Waltham.
We recommend regular health maintenance visits at least once a year. More frequent visits are scheduled as needed.
In addition to administering physical care, our sickle cell clinic staff educates patients and families in the areas of:
- early identification and reduction of acute and chronic complications
- strategies for a healthy approach to chronic illness
- genetic counseling for both the patient and the family
Your child's ongoing health maintenance program requires the involvement of many specialists. We offer specialized preventative procedures, including:
- use of prophylactic antibiotics and vaccines to prevent life-threatening infections
- preoperative assessment to prevent operative complications
- access to reference laboratory for a complex understanding of your child’s unique type of sickle cell disease
- Transcranial Doppler (TCD) screening program for early detection of children at risk for stroke
- chronic red blood cell transfusion program for those children identified as being at high risk for stroke
- assessment and management of transfusion-related iron overload