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Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program

The Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at USF provides comprehensive care to children with sickle cell disease.   Sickle cell disease is a genetic disease of the blood that affects roughly 90,000 to 100,000 Americans and occurs in roughly 1 in 500 black or African-American children.  Children born with this disease have abnormal hemoglobin that cause their red blood cells to form sickle shape when stressed or dehydrated.  This “sickling” leads difficulty in blood flow in the smaller blood vessels in the body and leads to anemia, decreased oxygen delivery and damage to organs, and higher rates of severe infections.

The past three decades has led to many improvements in the care of children with Sickle Cell disease.  The regular use of medications, vaccines and regularly scheduled preventive testing led to significant improvements in the number of infections and a significant reduction in many of the complications of sickle cell disease.  Unfortunately, children with sickle cell disease continue to have high rates of hospitalizations and symptoms from sickle cell disease. Care for these children at USF is provided through a staff of physicians, psychologists, nurses, and social workers all experienced in the care of sickle cell disease. 

Comprehensive care is provided at the USF Pediatric Outpatient Clinics as well as at Tampa General Hospital’s Children’s Medical Center and St. Joseph's Children’s Hospital. We have a dedicated Sickle Cell Clinic located at the CMS building at Bruce B downs Avenue three Fridays of the month.

In addition, we have various clinical trials available to children with sickle cell disease for the treatment of acute pain and for the prevention of sickle cell crisis.

For More information on available clinical trials, please call 813-259-8635.