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Pediatric Hematology Conditions We Treat

Pediatric hematologists at Stanford Medicine Medicine Children’s Health diagnose and treat children of all ages who have a variety of blood diseases. And if you are expecting a child, our team also works with obstetricians to offer services ranging from prenatal diagnosis to genetic counseling.

Bleeding disorders

Platelet disorders

Platelet disorders can include immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a condition in which the blood doesn't clot normally because of a low number of platelets, or other inherited platelet disorders such as thrombocytopathies.

Hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders

Hemophilia is caused by an inherited deficiency of clotting factor proteins, which results in lifelong bleeding risk.

Our expert care team has been treating patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders for more than 40 years. We are a lifelong partner to your child with hemophilia. As a comprehensive, federally funded hemophilia treatment center, we provide care from infancy through adulthood.

We provide the latest treatment options, including clinical trials studying gene therapy. We also strive to improve quality of life and address all aspects of the disease through services such as genetic counseling, family planning and physical therapy.

Anemia

Iron-deficiency anemia

Iron-deficiency anemia is a very common condition in which the blood doesn’t have high enough levels of iron to produce enough hemoglobin to carry oxygen throughout the body. As a result, people with iron-deficiency anemia may be tired and short of breath. Iron deficiency anemia can usually be corrected by taking iron supplements, but additional tests or treatments may be necessary.

Thalassemia

Thalassemia is an inherited disorder that affects hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. We care for one of the largest groups of thalassemia patients in the country, and we develop comprehensive treatment plans for your child’s unique needs.

Sickle cell disease

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder in which hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen, becomes stiff, sticky, and sickle shaped. These sickle cells tend to cluster together and cannot easily move through the blood vessels, causing a blockage. Our care team is experienced in using proven treatments to give our patients the best possible chance at living long, healthy lives, and we are also pioneering new treatments such as gene editing.

Hemolytic anemia

Children with hereditary hemolytic anemia have red blood cells with weakened outer membranes that burst easily, causing the blood cells to die faster than they can be replaced. If your child with hereditary hemolytic anemia needs a liver transplant, he or she will be in the best hands at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Our Pediatric Transplant Center has performed more pediatric liver transplants than any other U.S. hospital in the past five years, and our three-year liver patient outcomes are the best in the nation.

Red cell aplasia

Red cell aplasia is a rare condition in which the bone marrow doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, which can make patients feel tired or lead to pale skin. 

Aplastic anemia

Children with aplastic anemia don’t produce enough red and white blood cells and platelets. Aplastic anemia can either be acquired as an autoimmune disease with no known cause, or it can be inherited via genes passed from parent to child.

We care for the largest number of aplastic anemia patients at any children’s hospital in the United States, and we will work with your family to develop the best treatment plan for your child. We work closely with the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation team to ensure that any patient who needs a stem cell transplant will have a seamless experience. We are a founding member of the North American Pediatric Aplastic Anemia Consortium, a group of doctors and researchers that comes together to improve care and identify new treatments for aplastic anemia.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis and other histiocytoses

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) results from uncontrolled growth in the number of histiocyte cells, which are white blood cells in the body’s tissues. When these cells start to build up in bones, skin, and other organs, they can cause pain, swelling, and damage.

Our LCH care team includes experts in blood diseases and endocrinology because diabetes is often associated with LCH. The team works closely together to identify the best available treatment, which may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery, while maintaining your child’s quality of life. Our program has a unique clinic that brings together doctors from many specialties to help treat the lasting effects of LCH in adolescent and adult patients.

Our team also has deep expertise caring for patients with other rare histiocytoses, including:

  • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.
  • Rosai–Dorfman disease.
  • Erdheim–Chester disease.
  • Juvenile xanthogranuloma.

Vascular anomalies

The vascular system is the body’s plumbing, and it is made up of four types of “pipes” called vessels, which carry different body fluids. Arteries carry blood away from the heart, veins carry blood back to the heart, capillaries are tiny vessels that deliver oxygen to tissues, and lymphatic vessels carry lymphatic fluid through the body. Vascular malformations are abnormally formed blood vessels, and vascular anomalies occur when blood vessels grow without control. This may lead to pain and increased clotting and bleeding risks.

Our team will work with you to develop the best treatment plan for your child. In addition to pediatric hematologists, the team includes:

  • Pediatric dermatologists.
  • Otolaryngologists.
  • Plastic surgeons.
  • Radiologists.
  • Interventional radiologists.
  • General surgeons.

We treat a wide range of conditions, including:

Diamond-Blackfan anemia

Children with Diamond-Blackfan anemia don’t produce enough red blood cells in their bone marrow, which can result in fatigue, weakness, and pale skin.

Our care team includes internationally recognized experts in Diamond-Blackfan anemia care and research, including Kathleen Sakamoto, MD, PhD, and our doctors and scientists are working on new treatments for this rare disease.

Please call (650) 502-7028 for appointments and more information.

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