Children's Hemoglobinopathy and Sickle Cell Program is a nationally recognized program that treats the majority of children and teens in Minnesota with abnormal hemoglobins and anemias.

Because these diseases include problems with red blood cells and bone marrow, where the body makes blood cells, they affect many major organs in the body. Your child will receive care from a multidisciplinary team including in-house pediatric specialists from every specialty who work together to treat and, also, prevent potential complications that may develop from the disorder.

Why Choose Children's?

Unique initiatives in pain management, emergency treatment, and family support give Children's patients a care advantage.

We treat more kids. Children's Hemoglobinopathy and Sickle Cell Program treats more than 83 percent of children and teens in Minnesota with sickle cell disease or hemoglobinopathies.

Access to the latest treatment options. Our patients have access to the most up-to-date local, national and international treatment options through participation in the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institute for Health. Through this participation your child is assured access to the most current treatment options and is given the opportunity to participate in clinical studies if desired.

Best possible emergency care. Rigorous standards of emergency care, with sickle cell care standards in place from the National Institute of Health, helps patients receive the fastest, most effective treatments for fever, pain crises, priapism and acute chest syndrome.

Kids are hospitalized less. Nationally recognized sickle cell pain management has reduced sickle cell disease hospital admissions for pain by approximately 50 percent and reduced lengths-of-inpatient-stays for sickle cell pain by nearly 50 percent.

Resources to help kids succeed in school. Neuropsychologists work proactively with patients, families and schools to help patients reach their maximum intellectual potential.

We find potential problems early. Aggressive identification and treatment of pulmonary complications, which are common in sickle cell disease. Patients receive annual evaluations to identify and treat subclinical and clinical pulmonary problems.

Second opinions for children not seen in our program. At Children's, we provide consultation services for children who are not seen in our program but would like input from our expert team. If you or your child's doctor would like us to review your child's case, you may arrange to have health records and test results for your child sent to us. The child does not need to live in the area or be seen in our clinic.

What is the Hemoglobinopathy and Sickle Cell Program?

The Hemoglobinopathy and Sickle Cell Program at Children's aims to address each patient's specific needs. Through a multidisciplinary health care team, access to the most current diagnostic tools like Transcranial Doppler (technology used to help identify and prevent strokes in children and teens with sickle cell disease), the specially designed C.H. Robinson Infusion Center, preventative therapies, and groundbreaking clinical research, the Children's program is unlike any other treatment option in the region.

Family support services for children and families coping with sickle cell disease are a fundamental component of the Hemoglobinopathy and Sickle Cell Program at Children's. These services include:

  • Financial assistance. Children's social workers and financial specialists can help families apply for government and other programs.
  • Summer camp. Children's annual sickle cell camp is held at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, about 45 miles west of Minneapolis. Campers meet others facing similar health challenges and are cared for by Children's staff.
  • Parent support group. A support group for parents of kids with sickle cell disease meets regularly.

More about the program