Sickle Cell Disease Program

The Norton Children’s Sickle Cell Disease Program is the only place in Kentucky, and one of only a few locations in the country, to provide automated red cell exchange for children.

In addition to sickle cell anemia patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana, patients come from across Kentucky for expert care at Norton Children’s.

Our specialist physicians also provide sickle cell anemia treatment for adults, creating a solution for patients and families who seek lifelong care.

The expert hematologists at Norton Children’s are board certified and fellowship trained to provide sophisticated care and the latest treatments for sickle cell anemia.

What is sickle cell anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is a group of inherited blood disorders characterized by chronic anemia, periodic episodes of pain and other complications.

The disease affects the red blood cells. Normal red blood cells are smooth, round and soft. Their shape and softness enable them to move easily through the blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In sickle cell anemia, production of abnormal hemoglobin causes the red blood cells to become hard, pointed, sticky and shaped like crescents or sickles.

When these hard and pointed red cells go through small blood vessels, they often get stuck and block the vessels. They also stick to and damage the lining of larger blood vessels.

Damaged vessels become scarred, narrowed and sometimes completely closed. The blockage of blood flow through blood vessels can lead to pain, stroke and damage to many organs.

Our Sickle Cell Disease Program offers a broad range of specialty services to meet the needs of children. Kids with sickle cell have access to expert pediatric general surgeons, orthopedists, ophthalmologists and pulmonologists.

Sickle cell anemia treatment

At Norton Children’s, we have sophisticated equipment to diagnose and treat sickle cell anemia.

  • We provide transfusion services to prevent recurrence of stroke or to avoid a stroke.
  • Apheresis services include erythrocytapheresis, an automated red cell exchange transfusion — the only one available for children in Kentucky.
  • Newborn screening and genetic counseling.
  • Pulmonary care to treat asthma, which is common in children with sickle cell anemia. The control of asthma may decrease the risk of pulmonary complications.
  • Cerebrovascular care for children considered at risk for cerebrovascular issues, including stroke, or kids who have experienced cerebrovascular issues.
  • Imaging services to detect or evaluate potential issues such as gallstones, stroke and narrowed blood vessels.

Psychosocial services to help children and families cope with chronic illness and issues affecting school, employment, finances and more.

Sickle Cell – 3600

Contact Us

Call for expert sickle cell anemia care.

(502) 588-3600

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