Blood disorders: clinical and diagnostic services
Comprehensive care for blood disorders requires a variety of services. We offer the following diagnostic care:
- Blood tests — Blood tests are samples of blood used to provide information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood. The results help determine diagnosis and treatment.
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy — In the center of bones is a substance called bone marrow. Blood cells and platelets are manufactured in bone marrow. In a bone marrow aspiration, a needle is inserted in the hip and a syringe is used to withdraw a bone marrow sample. If a biopsy is performed, a small sliver of bone is taken from the same area. A bone marrow sample can reveal problems with the number or quality of blood cells and platelets being made or the presence of cancer cells. Sedation is used when a bone marrow aspiration is performed.
- Computed tomography (CT) scans — A computed tomography (CT) scan is an x-ray that produces more-detailed images of internal organs, bones and other tissues than a regular x-ray.
- Echocardiogram (ECHO) — An ECHO is a safe, painless test that looks at the strength and function of the heart. It can determine some problems of the heart. The test used sound waves, like the ultrasound, to create a picture of the heart. The person doing the test will hold a small instrument (transducer) to take the pictures.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) — An ECG is a test measuring the rhythm of the heart by using several leads (stickers with a metal center) placed on different parts of the body. An ECG does not hurt. Sometimes it lasts 15 minutes; other times, the rhythms may be monitored for several days using a small device worn by the patient to collect the information.
- Genetic tests — There are many types of genetic tests, which typically are performed as part of care provided in conjunction with Children's genetic program. Usually the tests are performed on a sample of blood, hair, skin, saliva or amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds a fetus during pregnancy). Laboratory professionals use the samples to look for changes in chromosomes, DNA or proteins.
- Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) — An MRA is a type of MRI that is designed to examine the veins, arteries and the blood flowing within them. This test is often used in patients who have sickle cell disease to look at arteries of the neck and brain for any narrowing or plaque buildup that could lead to a stroke. Although the test is not painful or invasive, the child needs to lie very still while the pictures are being taken. Sometimes children need to have medicine to sedate them during the test so they will not move. An MRA can take between 30 minutes and two hours to complete.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides detailed images of the body and more clearly shows the soft tissues of the body. At Children's, hematologists and oncologists work closely with radiologists to provide fast, highly detailed images, which minimizes the time children must remain still and hold their breath during the MRI exam. Intra-operative MRI and 3 Tesla MRI are also available at Children's. Read a story about intra-operative MRI at Children's in Children's Practice Magazine.
- Transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) — TCDs are a safe, painless way to measure blood flow in the brain. Some children, such as those with sickle cell disease, have a history of high blood flow or velocities in their brains. This puts them at risk for strokes. Periodic measurements by TCD help monitor the brain's blood flow for any changes or identify if strokes have happened. A TCD uses sound waves, similar to ultrasound, to measure the velocity of the blood. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Ultrasounds — An ultrasound is a safe, painless test that uses sound waves to produce pictures of body organs and tissues. No radiation is produced.
And as an organization dedicated to family-centered care, we offer many child and family services and resources, such as interpretive services.