Heart and Blood Conditions
- For appointments, call 206-987-2106.
- How to schedule.
- Need a second opinion? Call 206-987-2106.
If this is a medical emergency, call 911.
- Urgent consultations (providers only): call 206-987-7777 or toll free 877-985-4637.
- If you are a provider, fax a New Appointment Request Form (PDF) (DOC) to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
- No pre-referral workup is required for most conditions. If you have already done a work-up, please fax this information as well as relevant clinic notes and the NARF to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
- View our complete Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Referral Information (PDF).
Some children need little or no treatment for thalassemia because it causes only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Your child may simply need to see the doctor for regular check-ups or if symptoms ever develop or get worse.
Some children with thalassemia may need a blood transfusion from time to time, such as when they have a major viral illness. The purpose of a transfusion for a child with thalassemia is to give the child healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin. This helps their bodies get the oxygen they need.
Children with severe thalessemia (also called Cooley's anemia or thalassemia major) must have regular blood transfusions throughout their life to survive. This is the most severe form of thalassemia.
Transfused blood contains iron. Patients with severe thalessemia cannot use this iron to make their own blood cells, so after many transfusions the iron builds up in some of their organs. This is called iron overload.
The iron build-up can harm the heart, liver and glands that make hormones. So the doctor will check your child's iron level. If it starts to get too high, your child will need a treatment called chelation therapy to remove the excess iron. This involves giving medicine that binds to iron so it can leave the body in urine.
Your child's doctor may also suggest giving your child folic acid supplements. Folic acid helps the body create healthy red blood cells. Ask your child's doctor whether to use a supplement and, if so, how much to give each day.