Pediatric Blood Disorders (Hematology)

Our multidisciplinary team of experts at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive care to children, adolescents and young adults who live with a noncancerous blood disorder like anemia, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, hemophilia, and von Willebrand disease.

Pediatric blood disorders are noncancerous but impact a child’s quality of life and, in some cases, can even be life-threatening. As the region’s only member of the Children’s Hospital Association, you can feel confident entrusting your child’s care to us.

Board-certified pediatric hematologists (doctors specializing in childhood blood disorders) lead our blood disorders team. Pediatric nurse practitioners, certified pediatric oncology nurses, social workers and pharmacists support them. We work closely with the Lehigh Valley Hemophilia Treatment Center.

Together we create an environment of hope, trust and confidence for children and parents alike.

Types of blood disorders in children

Noncancerous blood disorders can be related to issues with:

  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the blood
  • White blood cells, which defend the body against disease or infection
  • Platelets, which causes blood to clot after injury
  • Bone marrow, the part of a bone where blood cells and platelets are produced
  • Lymph nodes, which are immune system glands that act as filters for the body
  • Proteins responsible for bleeding and clotting

At Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, we offer deep expertise and specialized care for:

  • Anemia, a lack of red blood cells
  • Aplastic anemia, when the body doesn’t produce enough blood cells
  • Hemophilia, a clotting disorder
  • Immune thrombocytopenia, a low platelet count
  • Sickle cell disease, a condition where red blood cells become misshapen causing cells to die early
  • Thrombosis, irregular blood clotting
  • Von Willebrand disease, where the body has low levels of a clotting protein

Pediatric hematologists treat blood disorders

Pediatric hematologists/oncologists have completed medical school and training in pediatrics. At minimum, they have an extra three years of fellowship training in providing hematology/oncology care to kids. They provide treatment specific to your child’s condition, which may include:

  • Vitamin or mineral supplements
  • Lifestyle modifications including diet
  • Medications like hormones, steroids, antibiotics or blood thinners
  • Discontinuation of medicines that cause or aggravate the problem
  • Splenectomy (spleen removal surgery)
  • Blood or platelet transfusions
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Immunosuppressive therapy to help fight off infection
  • Immunotherapy
  • Factor concentrates

A team approach to childhood blood disorders

Dealing with a childhood blood disorder can be stressful for your child, for you and for your whole family. Our team provides care not only for the physical aspects of the disorder but the mental and emotional issues as well.

If your child’s condition causes discomfort, we respond with appropriate pain management solutions. We also provide relief from treatment side effects.

Our social workers and psychiatrists are available to support your child and you throughout treatment. If your child receives care in the hospital, our child-life specialists are available to provide meaningful distractions to reduce the anxiety your child might have.

Child-life program

Certified child-life specialists help kids cope with a visit to the hospital. They are experts in child development, and they partner with doctors, nurses, social workers and other members of your care team to meet the unique needs of your child and your family. 

The child-life program at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital is the only one in the area where child-life specialists help children receiving medical treatment by offering opportunities for stress relief and relaxation, as well as distractions to make procedures easier.

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