What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease and is a form of anemia. Anemia is a condition in which your body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen throughout your body.

In a person without sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells are round and flexible and can move easily through your vessels. In a person with sickle cell anemia, their red blood cells are rigid and sticky and are crescent shaped, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body.


Children with sickle cell disease are at an increased risk of health complications, making early detection and treatment very important. Research has shown that children cared for in a comprehensive sickle cell center have fewer complications and a better quality of life. 

Sickle Cell Program

CHKD is home to a comprehensive sickle cell program. Staffed by pediatric hematology physicians (doctors who treat blood disorders), nurse practitioners, trained nurse coordinators, social workers, an educational specialist, and a nutritionist, this multidisciplinary team will deliver highly specialized care to your child. Our program also includes:

  • Transfusion therapy
  • Comprehensive hydroxyurea therapy
  • Dedicated transition coordinator for patients transition to adult physicians
  • Specialized pain management
  • Comprehensive stroke clinic
  • Conducts national clinical research

Learn more about sickle cell disease.

Appointments at multiple locations make treatment convenient and accessible to patients throughout Hampton Roads and surrounding regions.