Anemia is a common blood disorder that occurs when the body has fewer red blood cells than normal. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your child’s body using a protein called hemoglobin. If there aren’t enough of these cells or this protein, a condition called anemia results.
One of the most common pediatric disorders, anemia has many potential causes. In some cases, anemia in children is temporary and caused by a nutritional deficiency or blood loss. In others, it’s the result of a chronic or inherited condition including autoimmune problems, genetic disorders, cancers and other diseases. Severe anemia can be life-threatening.
How Dana-Farber/Boston Children's approaches pediatric anemia
Children with anemia and other red blood cell disorders are treated through our Blood Disorders Center within the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
Matthew Heeney, MD, an expert in pediatric hematology, who specializes in sickle cell disease and inherited disorders of iron deficiency, sideroblastic anemia and iron overload, leads our program.
Our program brings together experienced pediatric subspecialists and support staff from across Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s, including:
- pediatric hematologist oncologists
- pediatric hematopathologists
- pediatric hematology nurse practitioners and physician assistants
- social workers
- designated hematology patient coordinators
Reviewed by Colin Sieff, MD
Boston Children's Hospital, 2012