Why St. Jude for your child's blood disorder

St. Jude has a world-class hematology program. Since the first day we opened, our doctors have provided exceptional care for children with blood disorders.

  

Quick facts

  • St. Jude is one of approximately 141 federally funded Hemophilia Treatment Centers in the United States
  • A St. Jude patient was the first patient to be cured of sickle cell disease by a bone marrow transplant.
  • Our Hematology program works with local doctors to arrange lifelong monitoring and disease follow-up for certain blood disorders patients
  • St. Jude offers genetic education for children with certain blood disorders. Families also receive comprehensive follow-up treatment
  • Children with blood disorders benefit from comprehensive, state-of-the-art care including bone marrow (stem cell) transplant and access to promising new treatments.
  • St. Jude has several laboratories performing research to find cures for blood disorders.  
  • The nurse-to-patient ratio at St. Jude is unmatched — averaging 1:3 in hematology and oncology, and 1:1 in the Intensive Care Unit

St. Jude is not like other children’s hospitals. At St. Jude, experienced Hematology Department physicians work alongside renowned scientists to improve and cure children with nonmalignant blood disorders. 

Stem cell / bone marrow transplants

There are two major types of stem cell transplants: autologous and allogeneic. Doctors often use allogeneic stem cell transplants to treat children with blood disorders. During an allogeneic stem cell transplant, a child receives cells called hematopoietic stem cells from a donor.

A St. Jude patient was the first in the world to be cured of sickle cell anemia through an allogeneic stem cell / bone marrow transplant. Stem cell transplants are a common treatment doctors now use to cure or control pediatric blood disorders.

Since that transplant in 1983, people with sickle cell disease have benefited from the work performed by the doctors at St. Jude.

  • St. Jude is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for autologous and allogeneic peripheral blood and marrow transplantation in children and adults.
  • The Transplant Program at St. Jude has been a part of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) since 1990. Our center also provides data to the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry and Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant Registry.
  • To improve outcomes and reduce side effects associated with transplant, doctors in the St. Jude Transplant Program work closely with laboratory scientists to rapidly move discoveries from the lab to the clinic.

St. Jude support staff members have been specially trained to care for children receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplants.

Bone marrow transplants at St. Jude

Fanconi anemia

Fanconi anemia is a rare and serious inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure. It prevents bone marrow from making enough new blood cells for the body to work properly.

  • At St. Jude children with Fanconi anemia benefit from comprehensive, state-of-the-art care, including bone marrow (stem cell) transplants and access to promising new treatments.
  • St. Jude offers patients and their families genetic testing and counseling.
  • The hospital’s major treatment programs are so successful because the doctors and laboratory scientists work closely together to quickly develop new therapies.
  • Our Hematology program works with local doctors to arrange lifelong monitoring and disease follow-up of patients with Fanconi anemia.
  • St. Jude doctors are engaged in the latest research studies, and patients are offered the choice to take part when studies are available. By performing these studies, we hope to better understand and treat this disease.

About Fanconi anemia

Thalassemia

There are several kinds of thalassemias. These  blood disorders reduce how well the body produces healthy red blood cells and normal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body. 

  • St. Jude treats children with forms of this condition including thalassemia intermedia and thalassemia major (Cooley’s anemia),  hemoglobin E/beta- thalassemia and hemoglobin H alpha-thalassemia. 
  • We offer trait education for people with newborns with thalassemia minor or trait. 
  • As a St. Jude patient, your child will have doctors who follow him or her to prevent or treat complications of this condition. 
  • St. Jude offers non-invasive measurement of body iron levels by abdominal and cardiac MRI to guide iron chelation therapy. This prevents children from having procedures that may require sedation and put them at risk for complications.

I tell people all the time that I am a walking miracle.

Former St. Jude patient Kimberlin Wilson-George,
the first sickle cell anemia patient cured by bone marrow transplant

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