Sickle Cell Disease Program Contact number | 202-476-2140

Sickle Cell Disease Program

Personalized Care for Patients in Pain

Children's is home to the Pain Medicine Care Complex, which specializes in treating chronic pain based on the unique needs of each child.


The Sickle Cell Disease Program at Children’s National is among the largest pediatric sickle cell disease programs in the country. Each year, we treat more than 1,400 children and young adults, from birth to age 21, with all types of sickle cell diseases.

Innovative Comprehensive Care

We have helped thousands of patients, but never consider the care we provide routine. Our comprehensive care team works together to develop an individual care plan for every patient.

The program addresses all aspects of a child’s clinical needs. All of the necessary specialists are in one location:

  • Doctors
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Physician assistants
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers

Through blood transfusions and the latest drug therapies, Children’s National specialists lessen the effects of the disease with early interventions through our Infant Sickle Cell Program, and have even cured the disease through our Sickle Cell Transplant Program.

Comprehensive care also means support for families to help them cope with a child’s illness, including a dedicated stress management team. As part of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, patients, parents, and siblings have access to comprehensive mental health and psychosocial services and other helpful resources through the Patient and Family Support Program.

Each year, 80 newly diagnosed infants with sickle cell disease are seen by our Infant Sickle Cell Program team of physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, genetic counselors and development specialists that provides education about the diagnosis, supportive care, and treatment options to families.

Download a PDF overview of pain management options offered at Children's National for children with sickle cell disease. Before your child begins the transplant process, read more about the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) typing, which is how we identify potential donors. HLA are proteins found on the majority of your body’s cells. HLA typing is a blood test that requires approximately 10mL of blood.

Related Information

Zahara's Story

Sickle Cell Disease

Patient story

"In the midst of every situation remember that there is no situation that you will face that you (along with your support team) are not well-equipped to handle."

Zahara's Story

The Sickle Cell Disease Program Team

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Children’s National provides a wide range of clinical services and specialties dedicated to improving children’s health.

Contact Information

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Children’s National sees children from around the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, nation, and world who need the kind of specialized expertise and child-focused care we offer. 

Meet the Team

Our providers represent medical and surgical specialties, family practice, and general pediatrics.

Related Departments

Pediatric specialists at Children’s National work closely to ensure an integrated approach to caring for each child and family.

Resources for Families

Children’s National offers resources for families to help answer questions and ease their experience.


Children’s National Health System provides suggested treatments to compliment top-notch medical education and experience.