Anemia

What is anemia?

Anemia is a common blood disorder that occurs when the body has fewer red blood cells than normal. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body using a protein called hemoglobin. If there aren’t enough of these cells or this protein, anemia results.

Anemia is often a symptom of a disease rather than a disease itself. In some cases, anemia is temporary and caused by a nutritional deficiency or blood loss. In others, it’s the result of a chronic or inherited condition, including genetic disorders, autoimmune problems, cancers and other diseases. While many types of anemia can be mild and easily corrected, certain types of anemia can be severe, chronic and/or life-threatening.

Types of anemia include:

How we care for anemia

Children and young adults with iron deficiency anemia receive treatment through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, an integrated pediatric hematology and oncology partnership between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital.

Our Blood Disorders Center brings together world-renowned pediatric hematology specialists and support staff from across Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, including pediatric hematologists/oncologists, hematopathologists, hematology nurse practitioners, social workers and designated hematology patient coordinators. For many appointments and certain procedures, your child can also receive care at one of the Boston Children's Hospital satellite offices.