Pediatric Services

Sickle Cell Disease Program

Sickle Cell Disease Care for a Lifetime

With decades of experience, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital has the leadership and expertise to provide state-of-the-art care for children, teens, and adults with sickle cell disease in a warm, friendly setting close to your home. We begin treating sickle cell disease as early as possible in a person's life, with the goal of preventing pain and complications and reducing the need for more hospital admissions. We offer cutting-edge medical treatments, supportive care, and referrals for stem cell transplantation (bone marrow transplant) and investigational therapies such as gene therapy.

About our program

We know how helpless it can feel to receive a diagnosis of sickle cell disease. At our hospital, we treat patients of all ages with sickle cell disease in a setting of hope and wellness. From your very first visit, we take the time to talk to you about your concerns and provide education to help you live the best life possible despite sickle cell disease. We are able to connect you with all the healthcare providers you may need through one world-class medical center. When an adolescent approaches adulthood, our transitional care program ensures they are equipped with the tools to transfer their care to an adult hematologist and adult medical providers.

What is sickle cell disease? 

Sickle cell disease is a disorder that affects hemoglobin, the iron-containing protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. The abnormal hemoglobin changes the shape of red blood cells from a normal disc shape to a crescent (or sickled) shape. The sickled cells can get stuck in blood vessels, causing what are known as vaso-occlusive crises (VOC), causing pain and even stroke if the blockage affects a vessel supplying blood to the brain. People with sickle cell disease also don't make new red blood cells quickly enough, which is why the disease is also called "sickle cell anemia." They may experience:

  • Sudden, severe pain (pain crises)
  • Fatigue (feeling tired)
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Jaundice (yellowish color) in the skin or white of the eyes

What causes sickle cell disease? 

Sickle cell disease is caused by a defective gene. A person has to inherit two sickle cell genes, one from each parent, to develop the disease. People with one gene have "sickle cell trait" and are generally in good health, but are capable of passing on the gene to their children. Sickle cell disease is diagnosed with a blood test used to detect the presence of abnormal hemoglobin. In the United States, testing blood for sickle cell disease is part of the routine health screening of every newborn. Finding it early enables doctors to start treating it sooner, which improves patient outcomes.

Why choose us

At NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, our program provides comprehensive care to ensure that people of all ages with sickle cell disease have regularly scheduled evaluations under national guidelines. We are available to you 24/7 to provide support and help manage your pain. Patients may have access to clinical trials of promising new therapies for sickle cell disease, such as a pivotal multicenter study to assess the benefits of gene therapy, which is now under way at Columbia University.

When you come to us for care, we'll customize the best plan of treatment to meet your needs. Telehealth visits are available. Call us for an appointment with one of our experts.

Contact us

NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital