Red blood cell (RBC) disorders are conditions that affect red blood cells, the cells of blood that carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. There are many different types of red blood cell disorders, including:
Patients with RBC disorders are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through our Sickle Cell Program, Thalassemia Program, or our Rare Anemias & Iron Disorders Program. Continue reading to learn more about anemia or visit these program homepages to learn about our expertise and treatment options for these conditions.
Symptoms depend on the type of RBC disorder a child has. Some common general symptoms of anemia include:
Common symptoms of hemolysis (increased red blood cell breakdown) include:
RBC disorders may be suspected based on the general findings of a complete medical history and physical exam. Depending on the type of RBC disorder a child has, her doctor may order a variety of blood and genetic tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment largely depends on the specific type of RBC that is present and may include:
After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.