Sickle Cell Disease Program

The Sickle Cell Disease Program is a nationally recognized center of excellence that provides comprehensive sickle cell disease care to manage the disease and prevent its complications. Our program includes:

The Lurie Children’s Difference

We work to improve the health and well-being of patients affected by sickle cell disease within a kid-friendly, family-focused environment. Our specialists are trained to treat children with sickle cell disease, meet their specific needs and counsel all family members on preventive treatment measures and serious complications.

The program offers transfusion services through a therapeutic day hospital, as well as routine screening by transcranial Doppler ultrasound to assess the risk of stroke. Our clinic, which includes specialized programs for newborns and children taking the drug hydroxyurea, is open four days a week.

What to Expect

Sickle cell disease has short- and long-term effects on virtually every organ system, including the brain, heart, lungs, spleen and eyes. Our program stresses preventative treatment to minimize serious complications when possible.

Early diagnosis and prevention of complications is extremely important for children with sickle cell disease. Treatment may include penicillin “prophylaxis,” pain medications, increased fluid intake, blood transfusions, hydroxyurea or stem cell transplant. Treatment varies with each child, and we collaborate with parents to develop the best plan for their children.

Support services are integral to our approach and we sponsor numerous programs, such as a parent to parent network, community education and outreach, annual social activities for patients and their families, scholastic achievement programs and a formal program for transitioning patients to adult care.

Our Specialists

Our staff consists of full-time pediatric hematologists, nurse specialists/nurse practitioners, a genetic counselor and a social worker dedicated to the program. The program is led by Robert I. Liem, MD, Director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Liem is board-certified in pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatrics.

Make an Appointment

If you’d like to request a first-time appointment with one of our specialists, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®). You can also request an appointment online.

Learn More

We encourage you to learn more about sickle cell disease on our conditions page or by viewing the video below, presented by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which features one of our patients and his mother talking about life with sickle cell disease.

An additional informative resource is the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois website.

Lurie Children's has partnered with the American Red Cross in the Blue Tag Program, which helps blood donors give directly to our sickle cell program. Learn more. 

Philanthropy

Your support is important in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please contact the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org, call 312.227.7500 or make a gift today.

Sickle Cell Disease Program Overview
The Sickle Cell Disease Program is a nationally recognized center of excellence that provides comprehensive sickle cell disease care to manage the disease and prevent its complications. Our program includes
•    Expert clinical care
•    Family support services
•    A cooperative blood donor program
•    Community outreach
•    Education
•    A wellness initiative
•    Research into the nature, causes and treatments of hemoglobin disorders 
The Lurie Children’s Difference
We work to improve the health and well-being of patients affected by sickle cell disease within a kid-friendly, family-focused environment. Our specialists are trained to treat children with sickle cell disease, meet their specific needs and counsel all family members on preventive treatment measures and serious complications.

The program offers transfusion services through a therapeutic day hospital, as well as routine screening by transcranial Doppler ultrasound to assess the risk of stroke. Our clinic, which includes specialized programs for newborns and children taking the drug hydroxyurea, is open four days a week.
What to Expect
Sickle cell disease has short- and long-term effects on virtually every organ system, including the brain, heart, lungs, spleen and eyes. Our program stresses preventative treatment to minimize serious complications when possible.

Early diagnosis and prevention of complications is extremely important for children with sickle cell disease. Treatment may include penicillin “prophylaxis,” pain medications, increased fluid intake, blood transfusions, hydroxyurea or stem cell transplant. Treatment varies with each child, and we collaborate with parents to develop the best plan for their children.

Support services are integral to our approach and we sponsor numerous programs, such as a parent to parent network, community education and outreach, annual social activities for patients and their families, scholastic achievement programs and a formal program for transitioning patients to adult care.

Our Specialists
Our staff consists of full-time pediatric hematologists, nurse specialists/nurse practitioners, a genetic counselor and a social worker dedicated to the program. The program is led by Robert I. Liem, MD, Director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Liem is board-certified in pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatrics.

Make an Appointment
If you’d like to request a first-time appointment with one of our specialists, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®). You can also request an appointment online.
Learn More
We encourage you to learn more about sickle cell disease on our conditions page or by viewing a video, presented by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, where one of our patients and his mother talk about life with sickle cell disease.

An additional informative resource is the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois website.

Philanthropy
Your support is important in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please contact the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org, call 312.227.7500 or make a gift today.

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​Congresswoman Robin Kelly​ Visits Lurie Children's


On March 7, 2016, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, 2nd District, Illinois, toured Lurie Children's Sickle Cell Clinic and met with some very special patients and families. Read more​.


​The Basics Facts About
Sickle Cell Disease

Our infographic outlines the basics of pediatric sickle cell disease. View the full infographic to learn more.

 




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​Transitioning to Adult Sickle Cell Care

Transitioning from pediatric to adult care is means that you are becoming more responsible for your healthcare and the management of your sickle cell disease. The Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program wants to make sure that you are well prepared to transition with our series of three videos. In the first video, learn what you can expect at your first visit with an adult provider in the video below.

In our second video, learn how to handle pain and other emergencies away from home.

In our third video, learn how how to navigate and optimize care in the adult emergency department.