Hematology

smiling baby

At Children’s National Hospital, our Cancer and Blood Disorders Center has many of the world's leading experts in hematology (blood disorders). Our Hematology Division is one of the largest pediatric hematology programs in the country. Our pediatric hematology specialists are recognized leaders in the field, which helps us deliver advanced care for conditions like anemia, hemophilia and histiocyte disorders. In addition, we provide comprehensive care for children with sickle cell anemia and cutting-edge treatments for individuals with thrombosis disorders. We have our own blood bank, as well as a nationally recognized buddy program for our chronically transfused patients with sickle cell anemia.

Choosing Children’s National for the Treatment of Blood Disorders

Children have complex blood clotting systems that change as they grow. At Children’s National, our understanding of pediatric blood disorders and the many ways in which they affect your child’s well-being helps us deliver the best care.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Comprehensive care. Children's National has one of the largest and most active pediatric sickle cell programs in the U.S., treating 10-20 children with sickle cell each day. If your child has sickle cell disease, we will coordinate and deliver specialized care to meet all of his or her health needs, including everything from specialized pain management to dental care. 
  • Safety. We protect children from life-threatening blood clots during their hospital stay, regardless of whether they have a blood disorder diagnosis. 
  • Effective pain management. Our Sickle Cell Integrative Pain Clinic offers complementary non-opioid approaches to managing pain, including aromatherapy, acupuncture and physical therapy.
  • Innovative treatments. As one of few programs in North America caring for rare histiocyte disorders, Children’s National offers access to treatments that are not widely available. 
  • Seamless care. We work with experts across Children’s National to deliver seamless care for complex conditions. Partnering with physicians from our Pediatric Gynecology Program, we have a dedicated clinic for teen girls with heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia). 

Our Blood Disorders Programs and Services

We take a team approach to care, where all specialties and departments are totally integrated to offer the best care for each patient and family. 

Our blood disorders programs and services include:

  • Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant

    If your child has leukemia, an immunodeficiency or other blood diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, which do not respond well to treatment, they may be eligible for a blood or bone marrow transplant. 

    Children’s National is one of few programs with a team of dedicated blood and bone marrow transplant physicians and advanced practice nurses. Our advanced knowledge allows us to deliver transplants with unparalleled expertise, even when your child is critically ill. 

    Our transplant program is recognized for its state-of-the-art treatments developed by doctors at Children's National. In addition, we are one of few programs that perform extracorporeal photopheresis, a treatment that helps children with dangerous complications after transplantation (including graft-versus-host disease).

  • Comprehensive Hemostasis and Thrombosis Program

    Our Comprehensive Hemostasis and Thrombosis Program treats children and teens with bleeding and platelet disorders, as well as clotting disorders and dangerous blood clots.

    Part of what makes Children’s National special is our team approach. We meet regularly to discuss each patient’s care. We also discuss each patient seen in our outpatient clinic immediately after his or her appointment. Having multiple touch points ensures your child’s treatment is informed by our team’s collective expertise. 

    Your child’s treatment may include:

    • Anti-coagulation (clotting) medications
    • Blood clot prevention (prophylaxis)
    • Blood clot monitoring
    • Minimally invasive blood clot removal (thrombolysis)
    • Blood transfusions
  • Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Program

    Treating over 1,400 children a year, the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Program at Children’s National is among the largest and most comprehensive pediatric sickle cell disease programs available. Led by Andrew Campbell, M.D., a renowned specialist in sickle cell disease, our program offers dedicated pain clinics for older children, as well as specialized infant sickle cell care. We deliver care and support that extends well beyond your child’s treatment plan, including providing specialized services like our dentistry program, where dentists are highly experienced in treating children with sickle cell disease.

    As a premier sickle cell treatment program, Children’s National offers the best available treatments, including:

    • Innovative clinical trials
    • Blood and bone marrow transplant
    • Hydroxyurea (a medication used to help red blood cells stay round and flexible so they can travel more easily through tiny blood vessels)
    • Therapeutic apheresis
    • Blood transfusion

    We are pioneers in transplant therapies that cure sickle cell disease. Part of what makes our program special is our success in working with any stem cell source. Allistair Abraham, M.D., a renowned blood and bone marrow transplant specialist, launched a first-of-its-kind clinical trial for transplants using a biological parent’s donor cells (half-matched donor). This novel approach helps to expand the pool of possible blood and bone marrow transplant donors and potentially cure sickle cell disease.

  • Histiocyte Disorders Program

    Our experts in the Histiocyte Disorders Program care for patients with a variety of rare conditions that happen when there are too many white blood cells in your child’s blood. Regardless of your child’s diagnosis or success with previous treatments, we offer advanced care to help your child have the best possible outcome.

    Our team includes leading experts in histiocytosis care and research. We also collaborate with care providers from all over the world who are involved in the field of histiocyte disorders, allowing us access to national and international approaches to treatment. 

    We offer novel treatments and comprehensive care for all forms of this rare disorder including:

    • Immunosuppressant therapy
    • Chemotherapy
    • Targeted anti-gene therapy
    • Bone marrow transplant
    • Blood transfusions
  • Therapeutic Apheresis Program

    The highly specialized Therapeutic Apheresis Program provides a therapeutic tool, apheresis, which is used to remove parts of the blood that may trigger your child’s disease. Our program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), which requires adherence to the highest standards of care. We use advanced equipment to ensure the safety of your child, especially if they are critically ill.

    Apheresis is used to treat a variety of conditions:

    • Plasma exchange may be used to treat your child's autoimmune diseases or neurologic conditions. 
    • Red cell exchanges may be used to treat complications due to sickle cell disease. 
    • Extracorporeal photopheresis is used to treat acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease following bone marrow transplant.

Contact Our Global Services Team

If your child needs treatment and care, our global services team can help set up a consultation. 

We're here to support you on your international care journey. We have been caring for international patients and their families for more than twenty years and will serve as your dedicated partner as you travel for care – setting up your medical appointments, recommending travel accommodations and lodging, and ensuring that your cultural and religious needs are being met.

For more information or to make an appointment contact us at +1-202-476-5778 or by email at globalservices@childrensnational.org.