Sickle Cell Disease
Access advanced treatments delivered by a compassionate team.
If you’re living with sickle cell disease, Novant Health Hematology has the complete care you need to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. This complex blood disorder requires the expertise of experienced hematologists to ensure you receive the most up-to-date treatments available. Our dedicated team of sickle cell specialists provide you with an individualized plan to help you make the most of life.
What is sickle cell disease?
Sickle cell disease is a lifelong inherited red blood cell disorder that causes your body to make abnormal hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen. Sickle cells are hard, misshapen and “sticky,” preventing them from traveling through small blood vessels. They can get stuck and irritate the blood vessel lining.
Sickle cell disease is diagnosed at birth and symptoms vary for everyone, ranging from mild to serious. If you have sickle cell disease, it’s important to receive ongoing treatment to avoid potential serious health problems including infection, acute chest syndrome, lung disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and severe arthritis of the hips and shoulders.
Sickle cell treatment
As a lifelong disease, Novant Health is able to care for you starting from childhood at our St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital through adulthood at one of our many adult hematology clinics.
Sickle cell treatment is complex, so you want an experienced team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other support staff working together to provide your care. Our team of compassionate experts at Novant Health Hematology brings you the latest treatments to manage pain and improve your quality and length of life. Your care could include:
- Medications including Hydroxyurea, Crizanlizumab or Voxelotor
- Transfusion therapy
- Exchange transfusion
- Iron chelation
When needed, you’ll also have access to care from other specialists throughout the Novant Health system, including orthopedics, sports medicine, ophthalmology (eye doctor), cardiology, pulmonology (lung doctor) and obstetrics/gynecology.
Sickle cell in children
If you have sickle cell disease or carry a gene for the condition, we’re here to discuss your potential risks of having children with sickle cell disease. If you have a child with sickle cell who is aging out of pediatric care at St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital, we make it easy to transition to our adult care program.
What is thalassemia?
Thalassemia is an inherited red blood cell disorder caused when your body does not make enough of a protein called globin, an important part of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen, and when you don’t have enough your body’s red blood cells do not function properly. With fewer healthy red cells in the bloodstream to carry oxygen to other cells in your body, you may feel tired, weak and short of breath. You may also have too much iron in your tissues (called hemochromatosis), which can impact your organs.
Thalassemia conditions can range from mild to severe. While you may experience mild forms that do not need to be treated, it’s a good idea to be assessed and understand the risk of passing the condition to your children.
Getting the best treatment for this blood disorder takes an experienced team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other support specialists. At Novant Health Hematology you’ll receive complete care using the most advanced thalassemia treatments to help you live the best life possible.
To reduce pain and improve your quality of life, your treatment may include aggressive transfusion therapy or iron chelation therapy. As your long-term partner in care, we’ll watch for possible complications of the disease and update your treatment plan as needed.
Our association with the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital makes it easy to transition from pediatric hemophilia treatment to our adult care program. We also work closely with specialists throughout the Novant Health system to bring additional care from orthopedics, sports medicine, ophthalmology (eye doctor), cardiology, pulmonology (lung doctor), obstetrics/gynecology and other specialties.