Established in 1959, our pediatric hematology program was one of the first in the United States. Today, some 500 patients with acute and chronic hematologic disorders — from newborns to 20-year-olds — are cared for by our team, including children and adolescents with hemoglobinopathies, thalassemias, congenital and acquired anemias, bleeding disorders, clotting disorders, bone marrow failure syndromes, and vascular anomalies. State-of-the art diagnostic laboratory support from the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Special Hematology Laboratory and Laboratory of Personalized Genomic Medicine enables us to diagnose rare blood disorders and render appropriate individualized treatment.
In 1983, the Division became home to one of only ten National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Comprehensive Sickle Cell Centers in the United States, a distinction we held for 20 years. The New York State Department of Health has also accredited the Division as a Hemoglobinopathy Specialty Center. We care for a large population of patients with sickle cell disease, affording us with exceptional experience managing this disease. Specialized services that we offer our patients include:
- Availability of our outpatient clinic five days a week for scheduled and emergency visits, including routine preventive care, outpatient management of vaso-occlusive pain and fever, blood transfusions, and hydroxyurea therapy.
- Access to clinical trials, including stroke prevention protocols.
- A special “Pain Pathway” in the Emergency Department and outpatient clinic to ensure the rapid evaluation and treatment of sickle cell patients with vaso-occlusive crisis, enabling these children to be relieved of their pain quickly.
- A comprehensive care program to ensure that children have annual clinical, laboratory, radiologic, and psychosocial evaluations in accordance with recommended national guidelines. All of these services are facilitated on the same day, saving considerable time for families.
- Access to all pediatric specialties to help treat complications of sickle cell disease.
- Patients with matched stem cell donors can be cured of their sickle cell disease through our sickle cell transplant program. (See page 13 for more information.)
“Being in a full-service children’s hospital allows us to provide the most comprehensive care for all of our hematology patients,” says Margaret Lee, MD, head of the pediatric hematology program. “Our program serves all of the needs of our patients in one place — not only for children with sickle cell disease, but those with any blood disorder.”