Thalassemia

Also known as: alpha-thalassemia, beta-thalassemia.

Thalassemia

Thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body produces hemoglobin that doesn’t function properly. Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Most of the protein is in red blood cells and it gives the cells and the blood, its red color.   In thalassemia, the abnormal hemoglobin causes red blood cells to be deformed so they are destroyed easily. His process is called hemolysis and leads to anemia because of poor production and increased destructions.

What causes thalassemia?

Thalassemia is an inherited disorder, meaning, it is passed down from parents to children.

What are the symptoms of thalassemia?

Symptoms of thalassemia can include jaundice, paleness, poor appetite, trouble with growth, fussiness, frequent infections and enlarged liver and spleen. Other complications include gall stones and later iron overload in the liver, skin and heart.

What are thalassemia care options?

Supportive care for children with thalassemia often comes in the form of regular blood transfusions, and folate supplements. A bone marrow transplant is the only cure for those patients, as long as it is done early in life, before development of complications.


Reviewed by: Kamar Godder, MD

This page was last updated on: 5/24/2018 10:48:13 AM


Upcoming Events

How to Thrive at School After a Brain Tumor Diagnosis

The Nicklaus Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Center, together with the Brain Institute is proud to host this free event designed to deliver education, support and guidance for children diagnosed with brain tumors and their caregivers. Learn more.

Talkin' Kids Health Facebook Live with Beatriz Canals

In this edition of Talkin' Kids Health we will discuss cancer effects and the survivorship program at Nicklaus Children's with Dr. Haneen Abdella, Pediaric Oncolgoist at Nicklaus Children's and Kristen Mendez, ARNP and Manager of the Survivorship Program. Learn more.

From the Newsdesk

Dental Health in Children with Sickle Cell Disease
Children with SCD may present anemia, repeated infections, and shortness of breath.
Dental Health in Children with Leukemia
Children with Leukemia can have different oral manifestations.

Video

video
Kristen Mendez, ARNP Discusses the Qualifications for The Cancer Survivorship Program.