Blood Disorders

Blood Disorder Experts

CHRISTUS Health board-certified hematologists collaborate with our multidisciplinary team to ensure we provide you, your child, and your loved ones with top-of-the-line care for various blood conditions. Our oncologists, immunologists, surgeons, and medical staff are no strangers to diagnosing, treating, and providing ongoing support to our patients.

Type of Blood Disorders


Anemia is a group of conditions in which a child does not have enough red blood cells, or does not have enough hemoglobin. Although some children with anemia and low iron levels do require long-term help, many children with anemia do not have a life-long disease.

Does Your Child Need To Get Tested?

CHRISTUS Health works to identify the cause of a child’s anemia, and then we work with your child’s doctor to develop a personalized plan for treating it depending on the cause. Many signs indicate that your child may be anemic, and those include: 

  • Pale skin
  • Lethargic and fatigue
  • Feet and hands are cold 
  • Little to no appetite
  • Frequent infections
  •  Cravings for ice, dirt, or starch
Iron Deficiency Anemia 
Iron is an essential part of producing hemoglobin. This mineral is found in many foods we eat, such as meats, beans and green leafy vegetables. Your child may be screened at the doctor’s office for iron deficiency, using a simple blood test. We can help with diagnosing iron deficiency anemia in children, and with treating this condition. Click here to learn more about iron deficiency anemia. 
Unusual Hemoglobins 
Hemoglobins C, D, and E are considered unusual hemoglobins, as they have different oxygen-carrying abilities. Some of these changes can be found on the newborn screen. If your doctor is concerned that your child might have one of these changes, we can help to identify the difference and to treat it if necessary.  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a page dedicated to these conditions, click here for more information.
Thalassemias are a group of conditions in which one of the parts of the hemoglobin protein is not made properly. Children with thalassemias can have anemia or other problems, depending on the type. Our clinic can help to identify thalassemias in children and to treat them, and our genetic counselors help families understand what this difference might mean for other family members. Click here to learn more about thalassemias.
Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia 

Hemolytic anemias occur when red blood cells break down within the blood. This can happen when the cells are fragile, during an infection, or even due to an “overactive” immune system that damages the cells on its own. In this last category, “autoimmune” hemolytic anemia, a child can make antibodies that attack the red blood cells. This can cause changes in energy level, yellow coloration of the skin and eyes, and other symptoms.

CHRISTUS Health can obtain simple blood tests that can help to look for this type of change in the blood and can provide treatments when necessary to control it. One very unusual condition includes autoimmune hemolytic anemia and destruction of platelets as well, called Evans syndrome. We will usually perform additional tests if we suspect this condition in a child, and can then provide treatments when necessary to control it. For more information about hemolytic anemias, click here

Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemia 

Sometimes, children can inherit a difference in how long red blood cells last. When the cells live for a shorter period of time, anemia can develop that requires frequent transfusions of blood. Some of these differences are part of a group of conditions called congenital dyserythropoietic anemias (CDA).

This condition, which has at least three different types, often runs in families and is uncommon. If CDA runs in your family or if we suspect that your child has this condition, we can perform genetic testing to identify and treat it if necessary. Our genetic counseling team can also help us to screen families and to provide guidance during pregnancy. Click here to learn more about CDA.

Aplastic Anemia 

Rarely, the bone marrow can stop making cells completely. This condition is called aplastic anemia, and it can have different causes. Some children develop antibodies against the bone marrow blood stem cells (“baby” blood cells), which cause blood production to stop. This condition is called "idiopathic" or "autoimmune" aplastic anemia.

Some children can inherit a difference in the way that blood cells are made, which can cause the bone marrow to fail during childhood. This type of condition often runs in the family. Examples include:

Transient Erythroblastopenia of Childhood (TEC) 
After an infection such as a cold or flu, a child may briefly stop making new blood cells. This is a rare event and gets better by itself. If your doctor suspects this problem in your child, we may be asked to perform some tests to make sure that the problem is not a different or more severe one. If we conclude that a child has TEC, we often will not need to treat it but will monitor for your child to get better. Click here to get an overview of transient erythroblastopenia of childhood.
Additional Blood Disorders 
  • Hereditary Spherocytosis 
  • G6PD