Red Blood Cell Disorders

What is a red blood cell disorder?

Red blood cell (RBC) disorders are conditions that affect red blood cells, the cells of blood that carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.  There are many different types of red blood cell disorders, including:

  • anemia
  • red cell enzyme deficiencies (e.g. G6PD)
  • red cell membrane disorders (e.g. hereditary spherocytosis) 
  • hemoglobinopathies (e.g. sickle cell disease and thalassemia) 
  • hemolytic anemia 
  • nutritional anemias (e.g. iron deficiency anemia, and folate deficiency)
  • disorders of heme production (e.g. sideroblastic anemia)
  • polycythemia (too many red blood cells)
  • hemochromatosis 

How we care for RBC disorders

Children and teens with RBC disorders are treated through the Blood Disorders Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, an integrated pediatric hematology and oncology partnership between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital, a world leader in the treatment and research of all types of pediatric blood disorders.